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The FBI has requested and received a preliminary injunction from a U.S. district judge to continuing issuing "stop" commands to the zombie machines infected with the Coreflood botnet. It is an essential step that is part of the agency's dramatic takedown of the botnet's command-and-control system earlier this month, an agent said in written testimony. In mid-April, the FBI seized five command-and-control servers and 29 domain names registered in the United States and then obtained a temporary restraining order to intercept signals -- that is, issue stop commands -- from any other C&C servers handling the botnet.
doctordawg - The way I was reading the article, it would not be an Email. That would be the absolute LAST thing I would click on. It sounded to me like they would be using phone or snail mail to contact zombie owners and from there they would possibly be directed to a web site.
There is also a psychological aspect of having the FBI contact you to ask to erase malware from the computer.
"There would be privacy concerns by some people," Moriarty told TechNewsWorld.
If I were contacted by the FBI through Email, I would assume it to be a phishing attempt and ignore it. There would be ZERO psychological effect on me.
The privacy concerns would be from the FBI contacting ISPs and getting phone numbers and/or addresses to contact users in a way they would believe.
Personally, I would WANT to be contacted and handed a solution to being infected by a botnet. There is a slim chance of my being infected, but if it happened then I need to rethink my security setup on my system and fix it. I would be thankful for the heads-up. I want to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
The privacy issues are outweighed by being part of the large and growing problem of malware. When an infected system is spreading either the infection itself or the "payload", it needs to be stopped. The FBI should be restricted to collecting only the info needed to properly contact the owner of the account (name, address and phone). History has proven that users as a whole, with relatively few exceptions, cannot be relied upon to keep their own systems clean. They need to be helped.
Another possible solution would be to push some code through Microsoft Update to check for this particular zombie on patch Tuesday. If it is found, display a message or link directing the user to a site that would get permission and help clean the infected system. No more privacy issue...
What is so difficult about tracking down and collating millions of IP addresses? The FBI simply needs to hire the RIAA for the job. The RIAA has proven time and again they can track down even the most neophyte grandmother and single working mom to serve with a lawsuit.
So, when I see a randomly timed alert from "the FBI" to access my computer and delete stuff from across the internet, I should click "Sure - Go Ahead" - right?