A free security tool is slaughtering the Zbot botnet, having cleaned the malware responsible for harvesting zombie computers from almost 280,000 machines.

In just a few days, MSRT has delivered a heavy blow to the network of zombie computers, with a few hundred thousand PCs having been cleaned.

MSRT was refreshed and offered to all Windows users via Windows Update on October 12, as a part of the company’s monthly release of security bulletins.

“Since the release of MSRT on Tuesday we have removed Zbot 281,491 times from 274,873 computers and is the #1 family of malware removed (which is not uncommon the month a family is added),” revealed Microsoft’s Jeff Williams. More »

Microsoft is gearing up to deliver the bits for the next generation of a free security tool focused on mitigations. The Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit has evolved to version 2, but it is not available for download at this point in time. According to the Redmond company, EMET v2 will be offered for download in the coming weeks, although a specific availability deadline was not provided at this point in time.

Some customers might already be familiar with EMET, as Microsoft released version 1 in October 2009. The tool is designed to allow developers to easily built and deploy security mitigation to arbitrary applications in order to render useless and exploits targeting vulnerabilities in the apps. While EMET does not actually help patch the security flaws, it does deliver barriers/mitigations, more than capable of fending off any attacks. According to Microsoft, EMET would best be used by third-party developers building applications designed to run on top of Windows, as well as by those needing to bulletproof as much as possible legacy applications. More »