Botnets--or computers that are hooked together into a vast chain of cyber-robots that do the bidding of automated programs to send the majority of eMail spam, illegally seek financial information, and install malicious software on still more PCs--remain an internet scourge, reports the New York Times. In a windowless room on Microsoft's campus in Redmond, Wash., T. J. Campana, a cyber crime investigator, connects an unprotected computer running an early version of Windows XP to the internet. In about 30 seconds, the computer is "owned." Active zombie networks created by a growing criminal underground peaked last month at more than...

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