Stopping Zombies Before They Attack: Microsoft Teams with Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Action to Promote PC Protection[/B]
“Don’t Get Tricked on Halloween” campaign and new lawsuit extend efforts by Microsoft to crack down on illegal methods used by spammers to distribute unsolicited e-mail.
Like medical researchers studying a strain of a contagious virus, Microsoft Internet Safety Enforcement investigators carefully experimented this summer with a tiny piece of malicious code used by computer criminals to hijack personal computers. The investigators began by placing a single copy of the code onto a healthy computer and then connected the computer to the Internet.
Almost immediately, the researchers noticed the first rumblings of life. The infected computer sent an alert with its Internet location and hijack status to a distant server. Then, connection requests from hundreds of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses poured into the machine, commanding the infected computer to distribute millions of illegal spam e-mails.
These requests meant one thing: the investigators had successfully created a “zombie” computer.
Today, Microsoft, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Consumer Action, a public watchdog and education group, launched a campaign aimed at helping consumers prevent their computers from getting turned into zombies.
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