Microsoft Helps Disrupt 4-year Old Botnet Dorkbot, Which has Infected 1M PCs

By: Ivan Jenic
2 minute read

A lot of people are worried about their security in Windows, but it turns out that Microsoft is worrying about keeping your personal info safe a lot. The company said a few days ago that it partnered with a few law enforcement agencies to disrupt a botnet called Dorkbot, which has infected more than a million computers worldwide.

The Dorkbot is a malware which collects your login data from services like Gmail, Facebook, PayPal, Steam, and other, and it could cause you a lot of damage. Dorkbot infects over 100,000 computers each month, and has owned more than one million PCs in over 190 countries so far, representing a major security threat.

Dorkbot was first spotted in 2011. It usually infects computers of users’ who were visiting suspicious websites, as these websites use special tools which automatically infiltrate the malicious software into people’s computers. Dorkbot can also spread through social media, so users who click on ‘strange’ links and answer to ‘strange’ messages might also get infected.

Microsoft didn’t reveal much info about how it plans to fight Dorkbot. If Microsoft attacks (along with its security partners) Dorkbot’s servers, it will have an immediate impact, but as the cybercriminals will probably set up new servers, so this isn’t a long term solution.

This isn’t the first time Microsoft tries to keep its operating system safe from this threat, as we know that the company has undertaken several similar actions in the past. It also partnered with vendors such as ESET, the Computer Emergency Response Team Polska, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, Europol, the FBI, Interpol, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to deal with this harmful botnet.

The Dorkbot malware has been distributed in various ways, such as removable USB drives, instant messaging clients, social networks, drive-by downloads and spam emails, among others. Microsoft also ensures that their real-time security software, such as Windows Defender for Windows 10 will bring the latest protection against Dorkbot threats.

But it looks like cybercriminals don’t want to surrender, as they have sold a kit which allows all other ‘interested’ hackers to create their own botnets, using the Dorkbot. The kit is called NgrBot, and it is available for sale in underground online forums.

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