Microsoft chases botnet herders into Russia

Software empire Microsoft is pushing into Russia in search of the botnet herders who set up Rustock.

The outfit has placed quarter-page notifications in two Russian newspapers, which are required as a a legal formality for its ongoing lawsuit in the US against operators of Rustock.

The advertisements notify the unnamed defendants in the legal suit and give them an opportunity to make their case, in the US court.

It is extremely unlikely that anyone associated with Rustock would suddenly say, “I am being sued in the US, I must immediately go to the Land of the Fee and allow myself to be face some of the sharpest and most expensive lawyers money can buy.”

Microsoft filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington against 11 unnamed defendants whom they are still trying to identify.

The adverts will run for a month in the Delovoy Petersburg newspaper, St. Petersburg, and in The Moscow News.

Writing in his bog , Richard Boscovich, a senior attorney with Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit said that history suggests that the people associated with the IP addresses and domain names connected with the Rustock botnet are unlikely to come forward.

However, he is really hoping that the defendants will emerge from the woodwork. If they do not, Microsoft will continue to pursue them, including within the Russian judicial system, if necessary, he added.

No one has been prosecuted yet for running Rustock, but the botnet remains nonfunctional, and the numbers of computers infected with its code continue to fall.

Microsoft has identified a Webmoney account that was used to fund some of Rustock. The owner of the account was identified as Vladimir Alexandrovich Shergin of Khimki, a city near Moscow. Microsoft is trying to find out if that information is true.

There was also bloke who went by the nickname “Cosma2k” who signed up for equipment used for command-and-control servers. Cosma2k also used the names Dmitri A. Sergeev, Artem Sergeev and Sergey Vladomirovich Sergeev, Boscovich said.