Researchers at TippingPoint Technologies’ Digital Vaccine Laboratories have found a way to infiltrate and seize control of one of the world’s largest spam-spewing botnets. By reverse engineering the encryption they have successfully cracked into the botnet. They basically have the ability to create a fake Kraken server capable of overtaking a redirected zombie.
Essentially, TippingPoint can now overtake the infected system and cause it to connect to TippingPoint’s fake Kraken server and receive a command to kill the target process handing the communication. In other words, they CAN stop the spam spewing from these machines. The catch is, they would be sending remote commands to someone’s computer without their knowledge which has caused an ethical dilemma. If they send the commands and stop the spam they are basically hacking the infected computer to do something the end user doesn’t know about.
Personally, I say they send the commands… the computers are already infected. I can however see the issue they have, nobody wants their machine doing anything without their permission. They don’t want to be as bad as the bad guys.
Read more on the issue at eWeek.