Microsoft says that its free malware cleaning tool has scrubbed the notorious and prolific Zeus Trojan from nearly 275,000 Windows computers in under a week.
Zeus, AKA Zbot, is a crimeware kit that lets criminals create custom malware to infect PCs. Zeus steals online banking usernames and passwords. “Money mules” then receive money from the compromised accounts and wire the funds to the gang for a small percentage. As part of last Tuesday’s patch release, Microsoft added Zeus detection to its free Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) that the company updates and distributes alongside its Patch Tuesday security fixes each month. MSRT does not prevent infections, but does detect and disinfect malware infected systems.
MSRT has removed 281,491 copies of Zeus from 274,873 PCs, Microsoft announced in an article on the Microsoft Malware Protection Center blog Sunday. Those numbers put the Zeus bot into the top spot on MSRT’s “hit list”. Expect these numbers to climb steadily.