Microsoft Is on the Hunt for Cyber Criminals

Microsoft's Digital Crime Unit has recently disrupted the ZLoader botnet, which infected many US companies with malware.
Conor Cawley

One of the biggest tech companies in the world is hunting cyber criminals, as Microsoft has established a Digital Crime Unit (DCU) to eliminate threats online. And they've already taken down a few key players in the cyber crime world.

If you've been online in the last few years, you've likely noticed that cyber threats are lurking around virtually every corner. From ransomware threats to security breaches, it's getting to a point where businesses need to be on constant lookout for hackers trying to steal their information.

Fortunately, Microsoft's DCU is on the case, having already dismantled some of the worst cyber criminals plaguing the business world today.

Microsoft DCU Takes Down Major Malware

Clearly, Microsoft's DCU isn't just for show, as the unit has already nabbed a few key players in the cyber crime world. Most recently, the DCU shut down the ZLoader botnet — a piece of malware that has infected many businesses around the world, with the ultimate goal of stealing and extorting money from them.

Announced in a company blog post, Microsoft announced that the DCU had “taken legal and technical action to disrupt” the ZLoader botnet through court orders, effectively taking control of the many domains used by the criminal organization to carry out these deeds.

“Our disruption is intended to disable ZLoader’s infrastructure and make it more difficult for this organized criminal gang to continue their activities.”

Microsoft isn't doing it alone, either. The company is in partnership with researchers from ESET, Lumen's Black Lotus Labs, and Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 with the hope that they can make the online world a bit safer for businesses and individuals alike.

The Hunt for Cyber Criminals

With the online world becoming more and more dangerous by the day, efforts like this by Microsoft are a much needed and much appreciated action to solve the problem. Obviously, just as with non-cyber crime, these actors will never be fully eradicated, but at least it'll get harder to operate unimpeded in the future.

“Each time we have a successful takedown like this, we increase the cost for them to do business and set the example for their successors that there is increased risk associated with their malicious activities,” said Wendi Whitmore, head of Palo Alto Network's Unit 42 threat intelligence section.

As for what you can do to protect yourself, there are plenty of online tools aimed at helping secure businesses from the cyber threats of the world. Antivirus software, password managers, and VPNs are the best place to start, as they can each provide you with an added layer of protection.

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Conor is the Senior Writer for Tech.co. For the last six years, he’s covered everything from tech news and product reviews to digital marketing trends and business tech innovations. He's written guest posts for the likes of Forbes, Chase, WeWork, and many others, covering tech trends, business resources, and everything in between. He's also participated in events for SXSW, Tech in Motion, and General Assembly, to name a few. He also cannot pronounce the word "colloquially" correctly. You can email Conor at conor@tech.co.

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