The Microsoft Cyber Army & the Judicial Power to Declare War, Part II

Microsoft TeamI've obtained a copy of the temporary restraining order that Microsoft obtained to shut down the Waledac botnet (which I reported on earlier here). The temporary restraining order is viewable here. If there has been no further legal action, the temporary restraining order expired yesterday. I am working on obtaining access to the court file to confirm whether or not Microsoft has gotten an extension to the order or if there have been any changes, but the court file is behind the PACER paywall, so I am trying to be careful not to incur large costs.

 

What is interesting about the above cited temporary restraining order is that it does not seem to actually do very much. News reports appear to have been exaggerated regarding Microsoft's actual actions (likely as a result of Microsoft's own self-praising blog post regarding the action). Unless the order has been subsequently modified, the order does not appear to give Microsoft any actual authority to do anything against these botnets. Most of the order simply enjoins the defendants from continuing to operate the botnets. The only action actually adverse to the defendants is an order to the domain host, Verisign, to lock the domains used by the botnets to prevent the defendants from deleting evidence or moving the domains to other hosts. This is a far cry from news reports championing Microsoft's action to take down the botnets. Within the next few days, I hope to have confirmation from the court regarding whether this was the final order, and whether an extension has been granted.

 

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