Microsoft Working With FBI, Interpol to Target Malware That Steals Online Ad Revenue


not worms

Just a day after likening the persistent threat to users from government surveillance to sophisticated malware comes news  Microsoft is working with the government to target a particularly sophisticated malware program.

From Bloomberg News:

Microsoft Corp.'s digital crime unit has teamed up with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and its European counterpart to fight software that infected more than 2 million computers to steal revenue from online advertisers.

They're working to track down computers that have been taken over with the malicious software known as ZeroAccess or Sirefef, and get rid of the malware, Microsoft said in a statement. While the effort won't eliminate the threat, it should significantly reduce the fraud, which has cost online advertisers an estimated $2.7 million a month, the Redmond, Washington-based company said.

Microsoft's also announced new measures to protect user privacy from both malware and government.

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  1. Microsoft will willingly partner with the government as long as the bottom line impact is positive or neutral. Protecting ad revenue is bottom line positive. Helping the government spy on its customers was bottom-line neutral (if not positive), until Snowden exposed it which made it bottom-line negative. They didn't think that would ever happen.

    Corporations are not driven by moral or ethical obligations toward their customers. Their loyalty is to themselves and their stockholders. For that reason, they pursue the appearance of ethical and moral behavior toward customers and mostly avoid the appearance of being deceptive.

    They were content to compromise their customers' privacy as long as they could appear to be protecting their privacy. All the while Microsoft et al were cooperating with spy agencies, they were also actively advertising their privacy protections, even bragging about it. While they might have had to cooperate with the government by law, they certainly didn't have to actively deceive people into believing they had privacy that didn't exist. But, they were sure they wouldn't get caught and, if they did, they would be able to hide behind the facade of patriotism in the war on terror.

    1. Corporations Politicians are not driven by moral or ethical obligations toward their customers constituents. Their loyalty is to themselves and their stockholders donors. For that reason, they pursue the appearance of ethical and moral behavior toward customers constituents and mostly vainly attempt to avoid the appearance of being deceptive.

      I ? MadLibs.... MadCons for that matter too.

  2. I work for a company that has banner ads through Bing (and Google). I remember telling my supervisor one day about a suspicious number of clicks that occurred during the course of an hour. She had them check into it, and they refunded us something like $75 or so.

  3. Ironic that the creator of the largest malware in existence is "cooperating" with the FBI to stamp out malware...

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