Microsoft faces mass extortion botnet

Cybercrime might not be as cool as my brain thinks it is every time I hear it, but it’s a big problem. Even in 2022 we have sophisticated phishing scams still successfully targeting quite experienced PC users. Some of these digital attacks are massive, consisting of large groups of bad actors around the world who then infect even more machines. They form what we call Botnets, like the 1 million strong a Google recently facedand cause devastating damage to innocent people everywhere.

Microsoft recently announced its legal and technical action taken against Zloader, another troublesome botnet ruining people’s lives. Zloader is a notorious botnet that operates on computers all over the world, even in hospitals and schools. It is known to install malware and extort users and even sell the ability to distribute ransomware to other criminals.

One such type of ransomware that Zloader distributes is Ryuk and it specifically targets hospitals and healthcare institutions. Then extort payments from patients, which is just a really evil thing.

It almost sounds like the American healthcare system. It’s almost as if charging people for health care creates an uneven playing field of desperation and creates a population ready to be hit. Almost.

tips and advice

(Image credit: Future)

How to buy a video card: tips on buying a graphics card in the sterile silicon landscape that is 2021

That’s why it’s good news that Microsoft has obtained a court order from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. This gives Microsoft control of 65 known domains that Zloader was using to target, grow, and communicate. Zloader has a known domain generator that Microsoft is also legally allowed to target and attempts are being made to block future registrations.

Microsoft also announced one of the people behind the creation and distribution of the Zloader Botnet. The company explains that this decision was made to remove the anonymity of cybercriminals.

Given the use of Zloader, it seems quite fair that one of its creators, Denis Malikov, who lives in the city of Simferopol, should be denounced for his actions. Microsoft also says both that and the legal actions taken after months of investigations by its botnet cybercrime unit.

Hopefully this all means that Zloader will be pretty much discontinued for now. Microsoft and law enforcement are said to be continuing efforts to shut down Zloader as they expect the botnet to try to revive itself despite current actions taken.

Leave a Comment