Microsoft wins court approval to topple "botnet" -WSJ

Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:38am EST

Feb 25 (Reuters) - Software giant Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) has won a U.S. court approval to deactivate a global network of computers that the company accused of spreading spam and harmful computer codes, the Wall Street Journal said.

A federal judge in Alexandria, Virginia, granted a request by Microsoft to deactivate 277 Internet domains, which the software maker said is linked to a "botnet", the paper said.

A botnet is an army of infected computers that hackers can control from a central machine.

The company aims to secretly sever communications channels to the botnet before its operators can re-establish links to the network, the paper said.

Microsoft on Monday filed a suit that targets a botnet identified as Waledac, the paper said.

Judge Brinkema's order required VeriSign Inc (VRSN.O), an Internet security and naming services provider, to temporarily turn off the suspect Internet addresses, the paper said.

Microsoft could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters outside regular U.S. business hours.

On Feb. 18, Internet security firm NetWitness said in a report that a new type of computer virus is known to have breached almost 75,000 computers in 2,500 organizations around the world, including user accounts of popular social network websites. [ID:nSGE61H0D8] (Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

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