Zeus is a Trojan horse for Windows that was created to steal bank information using botnets. First discovered in 2007, Zeus spread through email, downloads, and online messaging to users across the globe. Zeus botnets used millions of zombie computers to execute keystroke logging and form grabbing attacks that targeted bank data, account logins, and private user data. The information gathered by Zeus botnets has been used in thousands of cases of online identity theft, credit card theft, and more.
In October 2010, the FBI disclosed that it had detected an international cyber crime ring that had used Zeus botnets to steal over $70 million dollars from bank accounts in the United States. This spurred an FBI crackdown on the Zeus Trojan and Zeus botnets that led to the arrest of over 100 cyber-criminals.
In March 2012, Microsoft announced that they had taken over and shut down most of the control-and-command servers that were being used by Zeus botnets. According to Microsoft, all but three C&C domains had been taken down in the effort (formally referred to as Operation b71). While Microsoft wasn’t able to eliminate every C&C server, their efforts are expected to slow or stop many of the cyber-criminals that were using Zeus botnets.