Microsoft disrupts online fraud botnet ZeroAccess
London – Microsoft and law enforcement agencies have reportedly disrupted one of the world’s largest botnets, ZeroAccess that triggered online fraud.
The botnet is a network of computers infected with malware that hijacks web search results and redirects users to potentially dangerous sites to steal their details.
According to the BBC, the botnet, also generates fraudulent ad clicks on infected computers then claims payouts from duped advertisers and has infected about two million computers.
Also called Sirefef botnet, ZeroAccess targets search results on Google, Bing and Yahoo search engines and is estimated to cost online advertisers 2.7million dollars per month.
Microsoft said that it had been authorised by US regulators to block incoming and outgoing communications between computers located in the US and the 18 identified Internet Protocol (IP) addresses being used to commit the fraudulent schemes.
Executive director of Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, David Finn said that the disruption will stop victims’ computers from being used for fraud and help in identifying the computers that need to be cleaned of the infection.
Microsoft said that due to its botnet architecture, ZeroAccess is one of the most robust and durable botnets in operation today and was built to be resilient to disruption efforts, but the latest action is expected to significantly disrupt the botnet’s operation, the report added.