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Microsoft backs Industry Botnet Group to tackle infected Windows machines

Ropes in others to clean up its mess
Thu May 31 2012, 17:41
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MICROSOFT HAS ANNOUNCED that it will be part of the Industry Botnet Group to tackle the growing problem of botnets, which usually take advantage of Windows operating systems.

Microsoft's efforts to tackle the problem of botnets stems from the fact that the majority of infected machines run some version of its Windows operating system. Yesterday the firm announced the Industry Botnet Group to fight against botnets.

According to Microsoft, its software has become more resilient so botnets are increasingly harder to code and operate, a claim with which some might argue. Then the firm also said its Digital Crimes Unit, which sounds like it should be a Discovery Channel series, "has helped to transform the fight against digital crime through key partnerships and legal and technical breakthroughs that disrupt the way cybercriminals operate", again another claim that seems to be contradicted by the number of news stories about web sites and vulnerabilities being discovered.

The Industry Botnet Group then released its 'principles', which include sharing the responsibility of enacting resilient business practices, confronting the problem of botnets globally and educate users. All of the Industry Botnet Group's points are fair but ultimately it is the software and perhaps most importantly the operating systems that need to be fixed.

According to Eric Wenger, policy counsel for US government affairs at Microsoft, "We are in the early stages of this battle against botnets, but the Industry Botnet Group Principles announced today are an important milestone in our efforts. While botnets will continue to find creative ways to conduct their attacks, we can jointly work to make botnets less effective for the criminals who seek to use them."

He forgot to add that running a Linux-based operating system will almost certainly help prevent users' machines from being taken over by a botnet. µ


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