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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

March 26, 2012 at 7:36 AM

Microsoft and financial services groups disrupt Zeus botnets

Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit, along with leading financial services associations, announced that they’ve disrupted a number of the most harmful botnets using the Zeus family of malware.

Botnets are networks of virus-infected computers that can send out spam or viruses.

Microsoft and the financial services companies took legal and technical actions “against some of the worst known cybercrime operations fueling online fraud and identity theft today,” according to The Official Microsoft Blog. The company estimates those operations are responsible for nearly half a billion dollars in damages.

According to the blog post:

Due to the unique complexity of these particular targets, unlike our prior botnet takedown operations, the goal here was not the permanent shutdown of all impacted targets. Rather, our goal was a strategic disruption of operations to mitigate the threat in order to cause long-term damage to the cybercriminal organization that relies on these botnets for illicit gain.

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