Microsoft and its partners have almost completely disrupted the ZeroAccess botnet that has infected more than 2 million computers worldwide.

The Digital Crime Unit of Microsoft with the European Cybercrime Centre of Europol and the FBI, has just wrecked the ZeroAccess botnet, which has infected more than 2 million computers around the world, causing damage to more than 2.7 million dollars a month.

In the massacre, the botnet majorly targeted search engines — Google, Bing and Yahoo – and show altered search results to direct users to infected websites, from which they injected the malware known as ZAccess and Sirefef that are used to steal users’ personal information or implement computer-related fraud by cybercriminals.

The majority of infected computers are located in the United States and Western Europe. Given the complexity of its architecture, ZeroAccess is a more robust and resistant botnet than Microsoft’s attempts which is trying stop its illegal activities as its peer-to-peer infrastructure enables cybercriminals to remotely control the botnet using thousands of computers. The latter are infected when the user visits a site through ad hoc, or if they are installed counterfeit software, which is distributed by malware.

ZeroAccess-botnet
Maps of ZeroAccess infected PCs in Texas. Source: botnetlegalnotice.com

Because of its complexity, Microsoft and its partners don’t expect to completely eliminate the botnet, but the actions put into place certainly slow down the criminal activity, making it less profitable business model, as it’ll be necessary to rebuild the entire infrastructure.

The Redmond Company has already initiated all procedures to inform users about the steps to follow to remove ZeroAccess from the computer. Since the malware prevents its removal, Microsoft recommends that you follow the instructions posted on the site support.microsoft.com/botnets.

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