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Microsoft takes the fight against botnets to the Cloud!

Malicious software programs are a  grave risk to people, businesses and Internet users in general. These risks might be in the type of bank fraud, denial of service attacks, identity and intellectual property theft and many more. Computer users who haven’t updated or those not using legitimate software the ones without anti-malware protection will often be the victims of cybercriminals. These  cybercriminals using malicious software secretly enlist such computers into an army of infected computers referred to as a botnet. These then are widely-used by cybercriminals for any wide variety of attacks online. Cybercrime has changed into a global phenomenon.

dcu logo Microsoft takes combating botnets towards the Cloud!

Cleaning the malware-infected computers of people around the world is just as important as disrupting the threats. We had seen earlier that Microsoft established MARS (Microsoft Active Response for Security) many years back to proactively combat botnets. Microsoft has become actively sharing information with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) worldwide.

But now utilizing Microsoft’s vast cloud resources, Microsoft is  capable of share that facts about known botnet malware infections with ISPs and CERTs in near real-time.

The new Windows Azure-based Cyber Threat Intelligence Program (C-TIP) allows these organizations to have better situational knowing of cyber threats, plus more quickly and efficiently notify people of potential security difficulty with their computers.

This new cloud-based capability for C-TIP, takes combating botnets to a different level.

Microsoft’s Orlando Ayala joined with the Secretary of State of Telecommunications and Information Society of Spain, Victo Calvo Sotelo, to announce an agreement for the Spanish CERT, INTECO, to become one of the first organizations for data through the C-TIP cloud service. The Spanish CERT joins the Luxembourg CERTs, CIRCL and govCERT, as an early adopter of the program, which allows ISPs and CERTs to receive updated threat data in connection with infected computers inside their specific country or network approximately every 30 seconds. All the information is uploaded straight to each organization’s private cloud through Windows Azure.

This can be an evolution in the original Cyber Threat Intelligence Program that Microsoft developed 36 months ago. Currently, 44 organizations in 38 countries receive these threat intelligence emails. Apart from Spanish and Luxemburg CERTs, momentum is building to the newer, more advanced cloud-based program as number of others in addition have either signed up for that new cloud service or begun the task for registering. This expedited type of information sharing should dramatically increase capacity to clean computers and make up using the fast-paced ever-changing cybercrime landscape. And if one is capable of take away the infected resources from cybercriminals because these criminals count on infected computers, they've got to spend time and cash trying to find new victims thus rendering it less lucrative. So this might be another appealing factor.

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