13:35 15 September 2012
Brand new PCs have been installed with Malware software, which aids cyber criminals, a recent study has found. The infected-PC makers, Microsoft, have won their bid in a U.S. court to tackle the issue as of Monday 10th September.
The Microsoft study states that four factories who manufacture Microsoft computers and laptops contained PCs – which were built from scratch – to be infected with Malware. The news brings a new angle to cybercrime, who now target PC production lines to carry out illegal plans.
One viruse in particular, called Nitol, is dangerous as criminals are capable of accessing people’s private bank accounts and alternate routes into allowing them to infect machines.
Nitol works when a machine is switched on as it contacts the bug makers and they in turn steal information to help with criminal activities, according to the BBC, this includes people’s online bank accounts.
Microsoft now have permission to deal with the Nitol-infected computer dilemma by seizing control of 3322.org, the web domain thought to play a part behind the scenes in the scandal.
Researchers state 3322.org hosts 500 different strains of malware, with some even being capable of turning on a victim’s Web camera, as confirmed by the New York Times.
A Microsoft lawyer, Richard Boscovich, has said in a blog post: “This action will significantly reduce the impact of the menacing and disturbing threats associated with Nitol and the 3322.org domain, and will help rescue people’s computers from the control of this malware.”
Investigators looked at Microsoft’s PCs from across China, and out of 20, four were found to be infected with malicious programmes despite them being brand new. As reported by the BBC Operation b70 was set-up by Microsoft which found some Chinese PC manufacturers were in fact installing the software.
The owner of 3322.org, Peng Yong, of China, has told The Associated Press he denies any knowledge of the situation but will not tolerate illegal activity linked with his network.
It is understood the recent take-down plans by Microsoft mirror its Project ‘MARS’ (Microsoft Active Response for Security) which aims to combat digital crime ahead of any laws being confirmed.
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