| BOSTON, July 10
BOSTON, July 10 Microsoft Corp said it
has freed at least 4.7 million infected personal computers from
control of cyber crooks in its most successful digital
crime-busting operation, which interrupted service at an
Internet-services firm last week.
The world's largest software maker has also identified at
least another 4.7 million infected machines, though many are
likely still controlled by cyber fraudsters, Microsoft's
cybercrime-fighting Digital Crimes Unit said on Thursday.
India, followed by Pakistan, Egypt, Brazil, Algeria and
Mexico have the largest number of infected machines, in the
first high-profile case involving malware developed outside
Richard Domingues Boscovich, assistant general counsel of
the unit, said Microsoft would quickly provide government
authorities and Internet service providers around the world with
the IP addresses of infected machines so they can help users
remove the viruses.
"Those victims are currently not aware they are infected,"
Boscovich said in an interview.
The operation is the most successful of the 10 launched to
date by Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit, based on the number of
infected machines identified, Boscovich said.
Microsoft located the compromised PCs by intercepting
traffic headed to servers at Reno, Nevada-based Vitalwerks
Internet Solutions, which the software maker said criminals used
to communicate with compromised PCs through free accounts on its
Vitalwerks criticized the way Microsoft handled the
operation, saying some 1.8 million of its users lost service for
several days. The Internet services firm said that it would have
been glad to help Microsoft, without interrupting service to
Microsoft has apologized, blaming "a technical error" for
the disruption, saying service to customers has been
The operation, which began on June 30 under a federal court
order, targeted malicious software known as Bladabindi and
Jenxcus, which Microsoft said work in similar ways and were
written and distributed by developers in Kuwait and Algeria.
(Reporting by Jim Finkle; Editing by Richard Chang)