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Microsoft, FBI, Europol Signficantly Disrupt ZeroAccess Botnet

The digital crimes unit at Microsoft disrupted the ZeroAccess botnet, also known as Sirefef, in collaboration with Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and A10 Networks, among others.

Microsoft says the ZeroAccess botnet could not be fully elimiated due to the complexity of the threat, but significantly disrupted. ZeroAccess, is responsible for infecting more than two million computers, specifically targeting search results on Google, Bing and Yahoo search engines, and is estimated to cost online advertisers $2.7 million each month.

Microsoft has also filed a civil suit against the cybercriminals operating the ZeroAccess botnet, and blocking incoming and outgoing communications between computers located in the U.S. and the 18 identified Internet Protocol (IP) addresses being used. In addition, Microsoft took over control of 49 domains associated with the ZeroAccess botnet.  

Richard McFeely (Executive assistant director, FBI): If the hacker community has not yet taken notice, today’s disruption of the ZeroAccess botnet is another example of the power of public-private partnerships. 

ZeroAccess malware disables security features on infected computers, leaving the computer susceptible to secondary infections. If you think you may be infected, Microsoft has instructions on how to remove the threat.

The ZeroAccess botnet was originally discovered around July 2011.

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