|The door to the room simply reads “the lab.” Inside are racks of hundreds of processors and terabytes of disk drives needed to capture the digital evidence that must be logged as carefully as evidence is maintained by crime scene investigators.
John Markoff, A Robot Network Seeks to Enlist Your Computer
John Markoff gives a nice overview of what Microsoft is doing to help fight cybercrime — and why:
Just as gangs will often force a recruit to commit a crime as a test of loyalty, in cyberspace, bot-herders will test recruits in an effort to weed out spies. Microsoft investigators would not discuss their solution to this problem, but said they avoided doing anything illegal with their software.
One possible approach would be to create sensors that would fool the bot-herders by appearing to do malicious things, but in fact not perform the actions.
In 2003 and 2004 Microsoft was deeply shaken by a succession of malicious software worm programs with names like “Blaster” and “Sasser,” that raced through the Internet, sowing chaos within corporations and among home computer users. Blaster was a personal affront to the software firm that has long prided itself on its technology prowess. The program contained a hidden message mocking Microsoft’s co-founder: “billy gates why do you make this possible? Stop making money and fix your software!!”