Frager Factor

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

$100 Million Dollar Microsoft-Led Click Fraud Bust Helps 300K Users Regain PC Control

"In this case, hackers had installed malicious software on computers to hijack search results and charge businesses for online advertisement clicks. By taking down the cybercrime ring, more than 300,000 people around the world will regain control of their computers."

Microsoft Takedown Busts Up Global Botnet Cybercrime Ring

Thousands of computer users around the world received startling news Wednesday when they tried to search online: their PCs were infected and used by hackers to commit cybercrime.

"What’s most concerning is that these cybercriminals made people go to sites that they never intended to go to, and took control of the computer away from its owner," Boscovich said. The malicious software was used "in such a sneaky way that most victims wouldn’t have even noticed a problem while the botnet was still operating," Boscovich added.

The infected computers were part of what is called a botnet, or a global network of infected PCs that grows in size as computer users accidentally click on a bad links, files or websites and their computers begin performing automated tasks that help cyber criminals commit identity theft and other types of fraud.

The cybercriminals behind the botnet remain unknown, but investigators believe they came from Russia or Eastern Europe because code on the infected PCs contained a Russian phrase that said "I was already here," Boscovich said.

Microsoft worked with the security firm Symantec to help disrupt the botnet. It was the sixth time in three years Microsoft had taken such action to go after cybercriminals.

Last March, Microsoft, joined by a team of United States marshals, raided offices in Pennsylvania and Illinois to disrupt a global network of more than 13 million infected computers that they said helped cyber criminals steal $100 million. In that case, the computers were infected with the so-called Zeus malware that could record users' computer keystrokes to steal usernames and passwords linked to online bank accounts.

Source: HuffingtonPost full

OF note: As in all these cases they never catch the guys nor get the money back nor does  G or Y give back their rev shares which can equal that of the criminals.

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