That certainly does sound suspicious. Unfortunately, there probably wasn't enough research or investigation to file criminal charges against McColo's controllers. When they were cut off last Tuesday, one of my clients noticed just under a 50% drop in spam -- from an average of 81,500 per day down to 43,200 per day. I'm sure their aging mail server breathed a sigh of relief at the time.
A number of years ago, after a particularly nasty worm began spreading like wildfire, a white/grey hat created a worm that went into people's systems and downloaded the patches to plug the hole that allowed the first worm in (I forget the name of the "good" worm, perhaps one of you could remind me). While I'm certainly not in favor of unauthorized access, maybe this isn't such a bad idea. If people still can't be bothered to patch old flaws, perhaps something like that is needed. Then again, when Microsoft waits 7 years to patch a hole...
Of course, what would help even more is if these idiot high-speed ISPs didn't insist on users plugging their systems right into the network with no firewall. There should *ALWAYS* be a hardware box between your system and the modem. With dial-up modems, that wasn't possible (and quite frankly, not necessary). With cable/DSL modems, having a hardware firewall as a go-between is trivial. The question is, who will create a low-cost hardware firewall for your average consumer? Yes, cable/DSL routers do this for us, but there are still many people who plug right into the modem (using either a network cable or a USB cable). Until hardware firewalls become commonplace, we'll never get rid of botnets. No, I'm not suggesting that a hardware firewall will eliminate the problem, but it will certainly help prevent it. Eliminating unsolicited connection requests is definitely a good first step.