The owners of the Rustock botnet used to run one of the biggest spam operations in the world, capable of sending out over 30 billion spam messages each and every day. They also violated some of Microsoft's trademarks in those emails. Microsoft obviously didn't like that. The company teamed up with federal prosecutors and gave Rustock a virtual butt-whupping that brought the network to its kness. Now, Microsoft wants info on the botnet's handlers, and they'll give you tons of money if you supply them with names.
Everybody hates spam, but Microsoft hates spam more than most. The company apparently got sick of spending money trying to block the scads of spam the Rustock botnet was putting out on a daily basis, so it teamed up with federal prosecutors to crack down and wipe the botnet off the face of the Internet. And somehow, it worked! Today, the company rubbed its success in the face of the spammers by taking out quarter-page ads in two of Russia's biggest newspapers, listing the IP addresses of the domains that were shut down and warning... er, informing them of their day in court.
Hate spam? Of course you do, just like every one else who doesn't profit from this nefarious business. Assuming you're one of the good guys, here's a bit of good news coming from Symantec's MessageLabs division. The destruction of the massive Rustock botnet had a direct impact on spam, reducing the number of global spam messages by a third. The fallout was both immediate and significant, MessageLab says.
In cooperation with federal law enforcement, Microsoft has announced they managed to take out the prolific Rustock botnet. Rustock was responsible for almost half of the spam in 2010, and its command and control system was highly complicated. Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit spent months investigating the botnet, eventually working with US Marshals to physically seize servers.