Microsoft Might Have Saved Your WoW Gold

Microsoft's security updates for June seem to be having a profound effect in the ongoing battle against crooks who steal passwords and usernames, then use their ill-gotten info to cash in the imaginary gold MMORPG players accumulate for real money.

One password stealer, called Taterf, was detected on 700,000 computers in the first day after the update. That's twice as many infections as were spotted during the entire month after Microsoft began detecting the notorious Storm Worm malware last September.

"These are ridiculous numbers of infections my friends, absolutely mind-boggling," wrote Matt McCormack, a spokesman with Microsoft's Malware Response Center, in a Friday blog posting.

Between June 10 and June 17, Microsoft removed Taterf from about 1.3 million machines, he said.

Microsoft calls its utility the Malicious Software Removal Tool. Their June update reached an estimated 330 million users.