As online crooks evolve more efficient ways to churn out spam or compromise machines en-masse, so must the techniques used to fight them. One of the biggest online threats we face today are botnets, a scourge that affects millions of PCs around the world. And while Governments are using more aggressive approaches such as arresting the people responsible and putting them in jail, a group of German researchers are taking a more novel approach.

The group has been researching ways to fight botnets by disrupting the bots, using the infamous Storm worm as their test subject. The researchers published their attempts to disrupt communication between the bots, saying they found some success by “poisoning” the bots communication, using falsified data to confuse them.

Questionable actions aside, the research group was able to use their methods to find a lot of information about the botnets, such as their estimated size, though their ultimate goal is being able to identify the operators behind the chaos. Interestingly, they also claim that 23% of Storm infections are housed within the U.S.