FBI gets Rustock botnet case from Microsoft

Microsoft and a number of law enforcement representatives physically seized PCs and server hardware in a number of different US cities in March. The raids were an attempt to shut down the massive Rustock botnet that had infected millions of PCs all over the world. Now News.com reports that Microsoft has turned over the evidence it has gathered in its investigation of the botnet over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI will use that info to go after the person who was in charge of the Rustock botnet, known only by his handle "Cosma2k". Richard Boscovich, senior attorney in Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit, claims, "We have a real good idea of who may be responsible for this."

The company has reportedly received lots of new information and leads on "Cosma2k" thanks in part to a $250,000 bounty that Microsoft set up in July. That money will be given to anyone who offers info that results in the arrest and conviction of the people responsible for the Rustock botnet. Even though the case is now in the FBI's hands, Microsoft will continue to offer the bounty to obtain any additional info.

The Rustock botnet had infected as many as 1.3 million computers worldwide and was responsible for sending out as many as 30 billion email spam messages per day at its height. Microsoft said that in a recent survey on June 18 that after its takedown efforts in March there were still 700,000 PCs infected by the botnet but that the actual spam activity had been reduced by 75 percent.

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