That's one way to get a message to Microsoft: a note has been found in the code of a malicious trojan horse program written by the Russian hacker who authored the software to wish his Redmond-based nemeses a happy New Year, "and good luck."
Given that the people who write malware and the security teams that try to shut them down are natural enemies - like cats and dogs, or PS3 fanboys and Xbox 360 fanboys - the message itself is surprisingly polite: "Just want to say 'Hello' from Russia. You are really good guys. It was a surprise for me that Microsoft can respond on threats so fast."
This wouldn't be the first time that this particular anonymous hacker has left a message for his pursuers, either: Last October, he wrote Microsoft a slightly-less-cordial-and-kind-of-creepy note, saying, "I want to see your eyes the man from Windows Defender's team."
In a touch of irony, the note wasn't discovered by Microsoft at all. Rather, it was found by a French security researcher who went by the handle "S!Ri" last Friday. Of course, given the amount of malware code that the in-house Microsoft teams have to sift through, the actual likelihood that they'd have found it in the first place remains pretty small ... even if they did catch the October message.
There may not be a third note in the future - according to the hacker, the company he works for is probably closing its doors: "We are closing soon. Not because of your work. :-)) So, you will not see some of my great ;) ideas in that family of software." Perhaps the global recession is even hitting the pockets of malware coders these days.
Still, the anonymous author seemed to be in high spirits, offering some advice to the rivals he'd never met ("try to search in exploits/shellcodes and rootkits") and wishing them a happy New Year.