DOJ gets court permission to attack botnet | ITworld

The U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation have obtained a temporary restraining order allowing them to disrupt a computer virus that created an international botnet controlling more than 2.3 million computers as of early 2010, the DOJ announced Wednesday.

In an unprecedented move, the temporary restraining order, issued Tuesday, will allow the FBI and the U.S. Marshal for the District of Connecticut to set up servers at the Internet Systems Consortium or other ISPs that would stop infected computers from continuing to spread the Coreflood virus, according to court records.

The order allows the law enforcement agencies to send commands to infected computers that stops the Coreflood virus, the DOJ said.

“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,” wrote Judge Vanessa Byrant of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.

via DOJ gets court permission to attack botnet | ITworld.

So…this kind of thing makes me ask “What could possibly go wrong?” in a very sarcastic tone… The court just gave the DOJ permission to essentially take over people’s home computers and pass commands to them in the name of fighting this admittedly troublesome botnet. And you might say “but how else will they take it down?” to which I don’t readily have a one-size-fits-all answer. But it does worry me that this kind of power has been handed over to the DOJ. Far too easy for them to write off government snooping and injection of commands for their own malicious intent as a “false positive” id on the botnet.


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