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Good Guy Microsoft: Launches program to help fight botnets, secure the globe

Microsoft has been fighting off botnets and hackers for the last few years with Project MARS (Microsoft Active Response for Security). They have crippled major botnet networks including Waledac, Rustock, Kelihos, Zeus, Nitol, and Bamital.

Today, Microsoft plans to take their fight for web justice to the next level using their own cloud resources. The newly designed Windows Azure-based Cyber Threat Intelligence Program (C-TIP) allows computer emergency response teams to respond in near real time. TJ Campana, director of security in Microsoft’s Digital Crime Unit, stated that:

“(C-TIP) will allow organizations to have better situational awareness of cyber threats, and more quickly and efficiently notify people of potential security issues with their computers.”

Last Friday, Microsoft’s Orlando Ayala joined the Secretary of State of Telecommunications and Information Society of Spain to announce an agreement for the Spanish CERT, to become one of the first organizations to hook up with the company’s C-TIP service. The new technology will allow ISPs and CERTs to receive updated threat data every 30 seconds; the data will alert the organizations of any infected computers in their network or domain.

This doesn't mark the first time Microsoft has reached out to share security information with the global community. The latest project from the technology conglomerate is the evolution of its original Cyber Threat Intelligence program, which was developed three years ago. The old program had sent regular emails to participating ISPs and CERTs with security and threat intelligence. What makes Microsoft’s latest contribution to community so special, is its 30 second update rate and larger cloud based scale.

Microsoft states that it is excited to continue working with the security community in its “proactive fight against cybercrime”. For more information on the project, you can visit Microsoft’s Security and Defense blog here.

With Microsoft looking over the entire globe’s security condition, are they our new protector or is this the beginning of the long anticipated Skynet – you decide.

Sources: Microsoft on the Issues

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Reader comments

Good Guy Microsoft: Launches program to help fight botnets, secure the globe

33 Comments

And yet everyone is still convinced that the xbox one will watch them masturbate to the softcore porn channel pre-views.

You cannot rule this out completely, seriously. Your example may look artifical and funny at first glance, but in general MS literally gets a camera+microphone into your household. I bet there will be a line in the EULA, where you unconditionally agree to accept that for (stricly.. aham..) quality assurance reasons, MS may (not may, but will..) capture video and audio from time to time in order to improve the reliability and performance of the kinect service. Actually this "to improve the reliability and performance of XY service" is the new bullshit text from MS, they copy-paste this text into nearly all of their updates description, where they dont want to reveal facts.

MS and Google are playing on the same side of the field. Only the customers are on the other side.

People seem to forget that millions and millions of people already have a camera+microphone in their house. If you own a laptop with any versions of Windows on it then Microsoft could already spy on you if they really really wanted to. 

Problem is that people are paranoid and like to think that Microsoft is a bad guy. I would be more worried about privacy concerns with Google Glass then I would with Kinect. Seriously, what is Microsoft going to do by watching us all sit around in our living rooms? I think Microsoft has better things to do then spy on millions of XBL users, it would be a colossal waste of resources for them.

The difference there is that your laptop doens't need the webcam on to function. A simple piece of tape over that lens can stop visual spying, and something similar coudl be done to distort the mic. However, if they make it required that the Kinect can see you, that's different entirely.
 
Not saying it WILL be the case, but definitely something to watch for.

And you know for a fact that the camera and mic on your phone arnt spying on you

THE KINECT WILL NOT STEAL YOUR UNDERPANTS YOU TIN FOIL HAT WEARING TARDS!!!!!!!!

sarcasm on:
How many million dollars per month does the partnership cost for participating ISPs? MS is not charity, they wont run thousands of Azure servers for the benefit of humanity.

Actually, I'm pretty sure they ARE doing it just for the benefit of humanity.  They have billions of dollars and, a bit like their co-founder Bill Gates, the new Microsoft seem keen to give at least some of it back to the world.  This doesn't cost them a lot in the grand scheme of things, and if you insist on asking "What's in it for them?" then you could consider how Microsoft will benefit, as a global technology company, from the reduction of botnets in the world just like everyone will.

Yes, that is 1 option as well. However please dont forget MS is run by shareholders, and those are the greediest motherf*****s in the known universe. It would be extremely hard for the management board to convince them to spend money on such charity things, instead of paying that amount to shareholders as divident.
The foundation of Gates is run by Gates, he does not need to convince anybody (only maybe his wife of course).

I think it's both. Yes, this helps the world overall, and I have no doubt that part of it is altruistic. However, it also helps Microsoft. A botnet is usually a lot of compromised computers, and since the majority of computers run Windows, those compromises mean bad news for Microsoft's reputation. By actively identifying botnets and providing information to get them knocked out quickly, Microsoft not only learns more about how its software is being compromised, but also knocks out a lot of malware that costs them reputation-wise.

When I hear about programs and departments within Microsoft such as these, it just makes me laugh at the people that think Microsoft is on its way out.