Industry News

Microsoft Sues Unknown Creators of ZeroAccess

Microsoft is suing the creators of ZeroAccess (Sirefef Rootkit), even though the defendants are yet unknown. The tech giant is urging the alleged hackers to show up in court within 21 days or lose the trial and face legal consequences. The cyber-crime group may count up to 8 members.

“You must ‘appear’ in this case or the other side will win automatically,” the legal notice reads.  “To ‘appear’ you must file with the court a legal document called a ‘motion’ or ‘answer’.”

Microsoft Sues Unknown Creators of ZeroAccess The tech corporation filed the lawsuit for “controlling a computer botnet and thereby injuring Microsoft and its customers.” Attackers also violated intellectual property rights and allegedly caused online advertising fraud.

“ZeroAccess directly harms the owners of the infected computers and places them at risk of further malware infections,” Microsoft Senior Manager of Investigations David Anselmi said. “Computers infected with ZeroAccess may be PCs or laptop computers located in private homes, public libraries, hospitals, schools, business, or anywhere else computers are connected to the Internet.”

ZeroAccess was first discovered in 2011 and is still infecting computers not protected by antivirus software or not updated. The malware replaces critical files of the operating system and hooks several kernel structures to avoid detection.

Zero Access is often delivered through pirated software, and gets installed after overwriting a random driver. The malware also auto-runs at every start-up and infects an executable from the system32 folder.

Users infected with the Sirefef Rootkit can install the Bitdefender free removal tool.

This article is based on the documentation provided courtesy of Lucian Ciolacu, Bitdefender Junior Content Editor.

All product and company names mentioned herein are for identification purposes only and are the property of, and may be trademarks of, their respective owners.

About the author


Bianca Stanescu, the fiercest warrior princess in the Bitdefender news palace, is a down-to-earth journalist, who's always on to a cybertrendy story. She's the industry news guru, who'll always keep a close eye on the AV movers and shakers and report their deeds from a fresh new perspective. Proud mother of one, she covers parental control topics, with a view to valiantly cutting a safe path for children through the Internet thicket. She likes to let words and facts speak for themselves.