A global network of firms, including Microsoft, Japan’s Cyber Defense Institute, and Internet security solutions firms Trend Micro and Kaspersky, have launched an attack on the dreaded Simda criminal botnet and neutralised it.

One of the strongest botnets with over 7.70 lakh PCs as its slaves, Simda’s reach is seen in about 190 countries, with the US, UK, Russia, Canada and Turkey being the worst affected.

Kaspersky Labs estimates that hundreds of thousands of computers across the world, with the vast majority of victims located in the US, have become slave PCs in the Simda botnet.

Simda is a ‘pay-per-install’ malware used to distribute illicit software and different types of malware. These malware could siphon off financial information from infected PCs.

A botnet is a network of PCs that are taken as slaves by cyber criminals. The number grows significantly as more and more vulnerable users are trapped by the malware.

Law enforcement agencies of some other countries have also taken part in the global operation. Kaspersky, the Moscow-based Internet security solutions firm, has opened a window (CheckIP tool) on its website, offering to screen for malware.

“Users can find out if their IPs have been spotted on Simda command and control servers, signifying the possibility of active or past infection. These IP addresses became available as a result of the server takedown operation,” a Kaspersky official said.

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