Rustock take-down proves botnets can be crippled, says Microsoft


"It's not nitpicking, but there are always a lot of naysayers who play up the negative angle," added Lanstein. "The lasting impact comes from how much you follow through."

And in his eyes, Microsoft is committed to the battle long term. "[Microsoft] is bringing the fight to the bad guys," said Lanstein. "This is definitely not the last botnet we're going to go after."

Microsoft has not yet identified the presumed head of the Rustock botnet gang, but last week a federal judge granted its request to extend its effort to notify unnamed defendants in the lawsuit, a legal formality designed to give potential defendants an opportunity to respond to charges.

Microsoft believes the Rustock operator resides in either St. Petersburg or Moscow in the Russian Federation; last month it in those cities' newspapers.

Although Boscovich said it was unlikely the defendants would step forward, he sounded confident that, with the information on the seized servers and other investigations, someone would be held accountable for Rustock.