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Hackers Stopped With Help of Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit

By April 27, 2020May 5th, 2022Cybersecurity

Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) recently played an instrumental role in taking down a botnet made up of more than 400,000 devices.

A botnet is a tool that hackers use to invade systems. The botnets were rented out to a variety of groups to conduct DDoS attacks, launch phishing campaigns, and deliver a variety of different types of malware.

Of interest, the botnet was controlled and coordinated by an LED light control console.

The team initially faced the daunting prospect of tracking down more than 400,000 IP addresses associated with the botnet. After conducting an extensive search, they narrowed the scope of their investigation to 90 IPs, and discovered that one in particular seemed to be coordinating the activities of the rest. This IP was traced back to an LED light console inside an office building in rural northern Taiwan.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice Investigation Bureau was contacted and after conducting their own research and investigation, moved in to shut the device down.

A spokesman for the Bureau had this to say about the incident:

This case marks a milestone. That’s because we were able to take down the IoT device and secure the breach to a limited range for those compromised computers in Taiwan, which is quite different from our previous global cooperation cases.”

This is not the first time in recent weeks that Microsoft’s DCU has made headlines. Just last month, the group, in conjunction with Microsoft partners, coordinated the take down of Necurs. That was one of the largest spam botnets ever reported, and was infamous for the widespread distribution of malware as far back as 2012.

While there is no doubt that other threats will rise to take the place of these two now defunct botnets, it is nice to know that industry titans are working tirelessly and in conjunction with law enforcement agencies around the world to try and keep us all a little safer. Kudos to Microsoft and to Taiwanese law enforcement for a job very well done!

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.