Microsoft Granted Permission To Kill Botnet Domains, Spam Galore
A U.S. just recently granted the company's request to do away with a total of 277 Internet domains, which they maintain were used to "command and control" the Waledac botnet. If you aren't aware, a botnet "is a network of infected computers under the control of hackers," and according to Microsoft, the closing of the domains could cause up to 90,000 PCs to stop sending spam. Not sure if that's a lot?
A recent report suggests that in 3 weeks in December, around 651 million spam e-mails "attributable to Waledac were directed to Hotmail accounts alone." For more details and back-story, you should probably know that machines hooked into a botnet are usually infected with a virus or worm, and many users have no idea that their machine has been taken over; Microsoft also noted that even though they had "effectvely shut down" the network, thousands of PCs would still have the nasty software installed.
Still, many are concerned about Microsoft's ability to just have domains cut off like this, even though it pretty much took nine acts of Congress to get it done. It certainly raises an interesting point: who decides which domains are good and bad for society? We have a feeling this debate will rage on for some time to come, but thankfully there's no much to argue over here. Dead spam is better than more spam, right?