Microsoft's Botnet Takedown Campaign: 10 Reasons It Keeps Doing It

NEWS ANALYSIS: Microsoft has successfully worked with the FBI to take down a $500 million botnet. But why it’s working so hard to root out botnets might have to do with more than just your security.

Microsoft and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced on June 6 that they successfully took down a $500 million botnet that was using infected computers around the world to spread even more malware among unsuspecting users.

It was the latest in a relatively long line of wins for Microsoft, which has been actively taking down botnets over the last few years. It also did a bit to improve Microsoft’s security cred in the marketplace.

Still, some wonder why Microsoft is spending so much time taking down botnets. It’s obvious that the company’s work is good for all Windows users, and it’s something that needs to be done. But why has the software giant made botnets its chief targets?

Are there not other possible targets the company could take on that would deal a major blow to malicious hackers? It’s tough to say. Most security experts would balk at the idea of saying that there is any one way to take down botnets or some of the other worrisome cyber-security threats around the world.

Regardless, Microsoft is taking down botnets and its work is far from finished. Read on to find out why Microsoft is keeping botnets in the crosshairs.

1. Improving Web security would be nice

It’s not up for debate that Microsoft is truly trying to improve Web security. The company has a digital-security team and it has spent a considerable amount of cash trying to take down online-based threats. All that effort has helped make the global Internet a bit safer and Microsoft’s successes in this effort should be acknowledged.

2. An ode to its customers

Microsoft has gotten plenty of criticism for a wide range of issues over the years. But the botnet takedown campaign shows the lengths to which it will use its technical expertise and influence to try to protect its users. It’s nice to see Microsoft doing what it can to help its customers.

3. Better Windows protection

By taking down botnets, Microsoft is helping the Windows ecosystem a bit. The company has essentially freed a huge number of computers that are running as zombies under the control of malicious hackers who keep spreading more malware and use the botnets for financial fraud and them. What’s worse, they were infecting other Windows machines at a rapid rate. By killing botnets, Microsoft is helping protect Windows.

4. It’s all about PR

Microsoft has for years been a company that has been viewed as weak on security. And over the past several years, the company has been trying to reverse that perception. Taking down botnets and making a big fuss about it only serves to improve Microsoft’s image and the company knows it.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...