Microsoft and other organizations have disrupted the Sirefef botnet that had infected more than 2 million computers
The botnet, also known as ZeroAccess, targeted search results on Google, Bing and Yahoo and was used to commit crimes such as search hijacking and click fraud. It cost online advertisers about $2.7 million a month, Microsoft estimated.
Specifically, “ZeroAccess is responsible for hijacking search results and directing people to potentially dangerous websites that could install malware onto their computer, steal their personal information or fraudulently charge businesses for online advertisement clicks,” Richard Domingues Boscovich, assistant general counsel for Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit, wrote in a blog post.
Microsoft worked with Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, the FBI and tech companies including A10 Networks to disrupt the botnet.
Microsoft says it’s working with its ecosystem partners to notify people if their computer is infected. If it is, Microsoft is recommending that people remove the threat by following the instructions here.
Microsoft has also filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Western Texas seeking to have Internet service providers disable access to certain Internet domains and IP addresses associated with the botnet.