Technicians from Microsoft and Symantec Corp. shut down the web search function for thousands of PCs to disrupt a global cyber crime operation known as the Bamital botnet, Reuters first reported on Wednesday.
According to the report, experts from the organizations obtained a court order and shut down servers at a data center in New Jersey and convinced operators in Virginia to shut down a server they control in the Netherlands on Wednesday. Technicians also pushed out automatic messages to users to use free tools to clean their possibly infected PCs in order to restore search functions. Shutting down the servers, Microsoft said on its blog, severs the communication between the botnet and the malware infected computers under its control.
"Because this threat exploited the search and online advertising platform to harm innocent people, Microsoft and Symantec chose to take action against the Bamital botnet to help protect people and advance cloud security for everyone," Microsoft said in a statement.