Microsoft and Symantec joined forces in early February to take down the infamous Bamital botnet that infected millions of computers across the globe.Fast forward two weeks and Microsoft comes back to brag about its efforts, saying that the Bamital botnet is still offline for the time being and there are signs that it may not get back online in the near future.
The company is currently trying to clean infected computers and, according to preliminary results, everything is going according to plan, Richard Domingues Boscovich, assistant general counsel, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, said today.
“Additionally, since Microsoft was able to receive all of the computer traffic that had been connecting to the Bamital botnet, we are also seeing very positive cleanup results firsthand. For instance, our preliminary data shows that as of February 18th, approximately 32 percent of the infected computers we had observed since the February 6th takedown are no longer part of the Bamital botnet,” he said.
“This promising reduction rate is largely due to the takedown of the botnet and victims taking action in response to the proactive notification process and available cleanup tools. We expect that the number of victim notifications and cleaned computers will improve as we fine-tune our process over the course of the next several weeks.”
Bamital has been mostly used by cybercriminals around the world for click fraud operations, as the hackers behind this project attempted to hijack search engine results and get users to a number of compromised websites.
As you can figure out, cybercriminals could simply earn money by bringing users on a specific website, but the interesting fact is that Bamital could even click on advertisements without users’ commands.
Activity of the Bamital botnet was first spotted in 2009, so Symantec and Microsoft needed approximately three years to investigate and strangle the threat.