The US government has got the approval of the courts to allow it to establish a no-fly zone over the Coreflood botnet.
The no-fly zone is a US euphemism for bombing the snot out of anyone you do not like without having to worry too much about taking casualties or the legal problems of going to war yourself.
Armed with that court approval the US Department of Justice and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, the US can use the botnet to kill off its own virus.
The Coreflood virus is believed to be under the bonnet of more than 2.3 million computers. Thanks to the temporary restraining order the FBI and the U.S. Marshal for the District of Connecticut can set up servers at the Internet Systems Consortium or other ISPs that would stop infected computers from continuing to spread the Coreflood virus.
What is unusual is that the order allows coppers to send commands to infected computers that stops the Coreflood virus from running.
Basically if you have the virus it is for your own good that the government uses its control of the botnet to switch it off.
According to IDG, Judge Vanessa Byrant of the US District Court for the District of Connecticut wrote in her judgement that allowing Coreflood to continue running on the infected computers will cause a continuing and substantial injury to the owners and users of the infected computers, exposing them to a loss of privacy and an increased risk of further computer intrusions.
The DOJ and FBI have control of the five servers that ran Coreflood-infected computers. They also acquired 29 domain names used by the Coreflood botnet to communicate with the servers.
Coreflood records computer keystrokes and other private communications, the DOJ said.
Coreflood steals user names, passwords and other private personal and financial information allegedly used by the defendants for a variety of criminal purposes, including stealing funds from compromised accounts.
While it would seem fair enough for the DoJ to take out the botnet, it does raise some questions.
Would 2.3 million people approve of the government using a vulnerability in their computer to gain access to their PC?