Microsoft Says Rustock Botnet Still Dead, Advertises In Russia To Notify Culprits

As you may be aware, nearly two months ago Microsoft and federal law enforcement agents cracked down on the infamous Rustock botnet, which was responsible for a lot of the spam you hopefully never receive.

This morning, the Redmond software giant posted a status update on its company blog, positing that Rustock is still “dead and decaying”.

Microsoft also surprised with the announcement that it is placing quarter-page advertisements in two mainstream Russian newspapers “to make a good faith effort to contact the owners of the IP address and domain names that were shut down when Rustock was taken offline”.

As promised.

Microsoft says it has taken several technical countermeasures to prevent the bot’s self-defense mechanisms from reanimating it, and that these efforts have been successful. The company says the number of infected IP addresses decline as more and more people update their software or get malware removed from their computers.

Nevertheless, some reports claim the takedown hasn’t actually made a dent in spam.

The company adds that its Digital Crimes Unit continues to follow this case, and that based on evidence gathered, the perpetrators likely operated or are operating out of Russia.

Microsoft will now run ads in the Delovoy Petersburg and The Moscow News to notify the owners of the IP address and domain names that were shut down of the takedown as well as the date, time and location of hearings where they will have an opportunity to make their case. This in addition to setting up this website.

The company says it realizes that the people associated with the IPs and domains will probably not come forward in response to a court summons, although they say they still hope the defendants in this case will present themselves. That won’t happen, of course, so Microsoft also says it intends to pursue this case, including possibly within the Russian judicial system.