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Windows 7: Microsoft legal punch may change botnet battles forever

11 Sep 2010   #1
A Guy

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
Microsoft legal punch may change botnet battles forever

With court backing and a novel use of a civil procedure, Microsoft appears to be close to obliterating the Waledac spam botnet, changing the way online criminal operations are defeated.

A magistrate judge in federal court in Virginia is expected to recommend within days that the judge hearing Microsoft's case grant a default judgment, Richard Boscovich, a senior Microsoft attorney told CNET on Wednesday.

This would mean that the 276 Web domains deployed as Waledac command-and-control servers to provide instructions to thousands of infected computers would be forfeited to Microsoft, effectively shutting down the botnet for good, he said.

What's unusual about the case is that Microsoft is relying on a procedure known as "ex parte," which allows a court to make decisions without the purported owners of the domains to be present. Ordinarily, a judge couldn't give away property, such as domain ownership, without providing the registered domain owner the right to challenge the request in court.

A Guy

My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Sep 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Interesting concept. Wonder why it hasn't been used before. Courts have long used ex parte hearings in drug related asset forfeiture cases. The owner of the assets has a 5th amendment right to not self-incriminate so rarely shows up at a forfeiture hearing. Likewise, the owner of a domain used for illegal enterprises probably wouldn't want to appear in court, either.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Sep 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

This sounds like a very slippery path to me. Another instance of the camels nose under the tent. While I in no way support what this company has done, this is another example of the road to hell being paved with good intentions.

What comes next, does the RIAA get to keep any computer that has one song that you can't prove you bought. Does Microsoft get to keep any machine that is running an unlicensed piece of Microsoft software or any pc that you forgot to purchase that client license for.

The problem with knee jerk reactions to objectionable behavior is that it has brought us to the current litigious situation in this country where its easier to steal the funds from someone who worked for them with the help of an attorney than it is to earn it yourself or to use the threat of legal action to head off legitimate competition because the little guy just can't afford to defend himself/herself without hiring an attorney which can bankrupt most small businesses or individuals.

Be careful what you ask just might get it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Sep 2010   #4
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1

bobtran I really don't think this is about shutting down a legal business. It's about shutting down a illegal Botnet, (Waledac). There illegal drug is spam that they use to steal. This type of action is used in the courts every day. If someone has a suit against another and one will not show up in court the other person most likely wins. A legal action against Waledac that is world wide would take a company like Microsoft that has the wear with all to follow it through. I would think one would be happy that there is a way to shut down Botnets. Keeping them off my computer makes me happy. Big drug cartel leaders don't show up in court and the court takes there found assets. I think they use the RECO Act also. Note, everything on my computer is legal and I will keep it that way. Keeping my computer legal, clean, lean and mean is my little way of helping stop things like Botnet. Microsoft did you and me a favor. Thank you A Guy for finding that good news.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Microsoft legal punch may change botnet battles forever

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