Working with several internet infrastructure and hosting providers, including Cloudflare, Google disrupted the operation of an aggressive Windows botnet known as Glupteba that was being distributed through fake ads. It also served itself as a distribution network for additional malware. The company also filed a lawsuit against two individuals believed to be based in Russia and who play a central role in operating the botnet.

Google’s action targeted key command-and-control infrastructure such as servers and domain names used by Glupteba, as well as many rogue accounts on Google’s services that were being used to distribute it. While this is a severe blow to the botnet, whose estimated size is over 2 million computers, it’s unlikely to be its demise because Glupteba has a backup command-and-control (C&C) mechanism that relies on the Bitcoin blockchain. This provides it with resilience against takedown attempts.

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