Not content with closing down the notorious Rustock botnet, Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit is hunting down the bot herders in their own country, placing adverts in mainstream Russian newspapers asking them to get in touch.
In a refreshing sign of the good guys on the offensive, Microsoft senior attorney Richard Boscovitch explained in a blog post how the firm had tracked those responsible for Rustock back to Russia.
"By placing these quarter-page ads, which will run for 30 days, we honour our legal obligation to make a good faith effort to contact the owners of the IP addresses and domain names that were shut down when Rustock was taken offline," he said.
"The ads notify them of the takedown as well as the date, time and location of hearings where they will have an opportunity to make their case."
Boscovitch added that Microsoft has also set up a Notice of Pleadings web site dedicated to the case, and has sent court orders to the postal and email addresses of those it suspects of controlling the bot, as it looks to close the net.
"Although history suggests that the people associated with the IP addresses and domain names connected with the Rustock botnet are unlikely to come forward in response to a court summons, we hope the defendants in this case will present themselves," he said.
"If they do not, however, we will continue to pursue this case, including possibly within the Russian judicial system if necessary. We remain firmly committed to taking action against not just the perpetrators of this botnet, but to disrupt digital crime globally to make the internet safer for everyone."
Rustock was was responsible at one point for sending out more than half of the world's spam. Spam levels fell by a third after the shutdown, but volumes have now begun to increase again.
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