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Microsoft Part of Global Operation to Disrupt World's Largest Online Criminal Network

Microsoft today announced it was part of a global operation meant to disrupt the world's largest online criminal network. Dubbed Necurs, the network functioned as a botnet - a number of computers infected by malware or otherwise malicious software that are functioning on behalf of a botmaster. The botmaster is basically akin to an administrator - but for nefarious purposes.

Thought to be controlled by criminals based in Russia, Necurs spanned more than nine million computing devices across 35 countries, making it one of the largest spam email threat ecosystems known to authorities - besides being used for pump-and-dump stock scams, fake pharmaceutical spam email and "Russian dating" scams. Necurs was such a well-oiled machine that it was seen sending 3.8 million spam messages to over 40 million targets across a 58-day long time frame in the investigation.
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