Working with federal authorities, Microsoft¹s digital crimes unit was able to disrupt Rustock, a notoriously complex botnet that sent billions of spam e-mails daily, GeekWire reports.
The takedown of Rustock has global implications. At its height, analysts estimate the botnet infected more than a million computers and was responsible for nearly half of all spam e-mails at the end of last year.
Spam messages said recipients were lottery winners and offered deals on potentially dangerous prescription drugs.
Earlier this week, federal authorities in Seattle and in other locations across the United States took possession of servers that provided hosting for the botnet. The operators of the botnet remain unknown and are referred to as ³John Doe 1-11² in a civil lawsuit filed in Seattle.
Microsoft has stepped up efforts against the largest senders of spam messages in recent years. The messages have affected how effectively consumers are able to use Windows products such as Micosoft Office and Hotmail.