Wanted: Rustock Botnet Operators

Microsoft announced to offer 250 000$ reward for any information that helps to arrest cybercriminals behind Rustock the biggest spamming botnet.

Previously in June Microsoft published two notices in Russian newspapers to notify the Rustock operators of the civil lawsuit. Now, Microsoft promised to pay a quarter million dollars to those who could help them and law enforcement officials to identify and catch criminals.

Rustock consist of computers running Microsoft Windows, and was capable of sending up to 25,000 spam messages per hour from an infected PC. At the height of its activities, it sent an average of 192 spam messages per compromised machine per minute. Reported estimates on its size vary greatly across different sources, with claims that the botnet may have comprised anywhere between 150,000 to 2,400,000 machines.

Size of the botnet was increased and maintained mostly through self-propagation, where the botnet sent many malicious e-mails intended to infect machines opening them with a trojan which would incorporate the machine into the botnet.

“This reward offer stems from Microsoft’s recognition that the Rustock botnet is responsible for a number of criminal activities and serves to underscore our commitment to tracking down those behind it. While the primary goal for our legal and technical operation has been to stop and disrupt the threat that Rustock has posed for everyone affected by it, we also believe the Rustock bot-herders should be held accountable for their actions.” Richard Boscovich, senior attorney in the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, said in a blog post.

You can find free information and resources to clean your computer on Microsoft support website support.microsoft.com/botnets.

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