Microsoft technicians accompanied by U.S. marshals seized servers at two data centers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania this week and, assisted by the FBI, coordinated with computer emergency response teams and registrars in 87 countries to close down domains used by the 1,452 botnets built on the Citadel malware, officials said.
The Citadel bot malware was used to steal information and money from an estimated 2 million to 5 million users and businesses whose systems are infected by the program, officials said.
"I think it will be a very, very aggressive and disruptive action -- it's a full takedown," Richard Boscovich, assistant general counsel for Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit, told eWEEK.
"When you take away that many computers and infrastructure, there is a cost associated with that, and that has always been our objective," he said. "Just having to reinfect people is going to be harder and harder."