Microsoft's June security updates were bad news for online criminals who make their living stealing password information from online gamers.
The company's Malicious Software Removal Tool -- a program that detects and removes viruses and other undesirable programs from Windows machines -- zapped game password-stealing software from more than 2 million PCs in the first week after it was updated to detect these programs on June 10.
One password stealer, called Taterf, was detected on 700,000 computers in the first day after the update. That's twice as many infections as were spotted during the entire month after Microsoft began detecting the notorious Storm Worm malware last September.
“These are ridiculous numbers of infections my friends, absolutely mind-boggling,” wrote Matt McCormack, a spokesman with Microsoft's Malware Response Center, in a Friday blog posting.
Between June 10 and June 17, Microsoft removed Taterf from about 1.3 million machines, he said.
Microsoft's September detections seriously hobbled the Storm Worm botnet, once considered a top Internet threat.