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Microsoft and FBI Claim to Stamp Out Malware That Steals Ad Dollars

Microsoft is working with the FBI to stop malware responsible for infecting more than 2 million computers as a part of an effort to steal dollars from online advertising companies.
The company's digital crime unit said on Friday it has "successfully disrupted" rampant malware called the Sirefef botnet — also known as ZeroAccess — which recently targeted search results on sites such as Google, Bing and Yahoo search engines.
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ZeroAccess malware affects devices running Windows by hijacking search results and downloading malicious malware onto infected systems. It directed each of its almost two million infected computers to click on as many as 48 ads an hour, but even though it wasn't true human traffic, advertisers were paying fees for fake clicks. Microsoft said the attack is estimated to cost online advertisers $2.7 million each month.

"Today’s action is expected to significantly disrupt the botnet’s operation, increasing the cost and risk for cybercriminals to continue doing business and preventing victims’ computers from committing fraudulent schemes," Microsoft said in a statement.
In addition to teaming up with the FBI, Microsoft is also working with the agency's European counterpart European Cybercrime Centre (EC3).

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