back to article Microsoft-led move takes down ZLoader botnet domains

Microsoft has announced a months-long effort to take control of 65 domains that the ZLoader criminal botnet gang has been using to spread the remote-control malware and orchestrate infected machines. The tech giant's Digital Crimes Unit obtained a court order from a US federal judge in Georgia to take down the domains, which …

  1. HildyJ Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    Don't know if you Brits have the arcade game Whack-a-Mole. Basically you have a big mallet and you whack the moles as they pop up from random holes. It's cathartic, even though you can never win.

    Similarly, killing off botnets, dark web souks, and hackers is also cathartic and you also can never win.

    But better to have tried.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Whack-a-Mole

      In the 'pest control' business, they call it 'pest control' and not 'pest elimination'.

      The fact that you can not eliminate them all does not stop you from trying.

      As I was told by a pest control guy once (when it was my job to lead the pest controllers around the hotel to service the baits and spray stuff), you do not eliminate them, but if you do not see them, they are "controlled". It's when you start to see the pests that they are no longer "in control" and you need to take additional action.

      Similarly, botnets and online criminals, in general. Eliminating them (or at least, TRYING to) is "pest control".

      icon, kinda like skull and cross-bones on pest spray.

  2. Phones Sheridan Bronze badge

    History is repeating itself?

    And no mention of the clusterfuck that Microsoft made the last time they got a court order to swipe domains and cut off 4 million people.

    We were using No-IP as our fail-over load balancing supplier at the time, and Microshaft cut us off for 3 days, all while lying through their teeth that genuine customers were unaffected.

    The one thing we took away from it, using Cloud suppliers for any critical service, is an all-eggs-in-one-basket approach.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Could Microsoft deal with the own 'malware' that is Microsoft Health Tools? Or does that not count?

    So it's headline news that Microsoft target other malware but quietly themselves use the same techniques to continually reinstall 'Microsoft Health Tools' application in both Windows 10 and Windows 11, when the user has explicitly uninstalled this application, and not just once. To me, anything that has this type of behaviour is 'malware', whether it's Microsoft or anyone else.

    This software is no different to the "Get Windows 10' 'malware' they installed on Windows 7 machines, when Windows 10 was released.

    Again, having an application (owned by MS) that is continually reinstalled, added to Windows by the operating system, is in effect market abuse, because no other company has the ability to continually reinstall an App, that has been explicitly removed, and many companies have been prosecuted for using such techniques, but there doesn't seem a regulator willing to take Microsoft on.

    Forced watermarks, permanent notifications in Windows Update, "This PC doesn't meet the minimum specifications to run Windows 11" ARE adverts. No other company has the ability to get people's eyeballs like this, but clearly many third party companies would be willing to pay to get those eyeballs, in terms of placing adverts directly in the OS like this.

    No other product does this, my car's touchscreen doesn't remind everyday I haven't got the latest model. Microsoft need to brought into line, to me, it's plain and simple market abuse, that no regulator is willing to tackle.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      That's why I do not install any Google products (Chrome, Earth, . .) on my home PC.

      Install Google Earth and you'll find yourself with Chrome in short order, because Google has decided that you can't possibly want Google Earth without also wanting Chrome.

      Your opinion ? Google doesn't give a flying one.

      Remove Chrome ? You'll get it back whether you like it or not.

      So, since I have to have GMail for my professional laptop, I use Chrome for accessing GMail (I'm already effed there) and I can install Google Earth as well because it's already too late.

  4. bombastic bob Silver badge

    Congrats where it is due

    Although Mictros~1 most definitely has a stake in this (chances are that botnets consist of WINDOWS machines), I have to congratulate them on a job well done, taking out another botnet.

    Beers, sirs!

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