Good news, haters of spam: Microsoft just took down the massive botnet known as Rustock, and with it, 39% of global spam. Holy moly.
The botnet, which consisted of 2 million infected zombie computers at its peak, was sending out a whopping 30 billion spam emails a day. That's a lot of spam! But they managed to dismantle the whole damn thing:
Rustock was taken down, piece by piece, in a similar way to the Mega-D botnet. First the master controllers, the machines that send out commands to enslaved zombies, were identified. Microsoft quickly seized some of these machines located in the U.S. for further analysis, and worked with police in the Netherlands to disable some of the command structure outside of the U.S.After that, they blocked access to the folks controlling the botnet and set to work clearing out the malware that had infected all those computers. And in the end, they pulled it off. So next time you don't get a piece of junk email, thank Microsoft.