Feeds

ISPs urged to throttle spam zombies

International clean-up campaign

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), along with more than 35 government agencies worldwide, announced an ambitious effort on Tuesday to get ISPs and other organisations to deliver the net from the plague of zombie spam networks. The group is encouraging ISPs to identify and quarantine customers whose PCs may have unwittingly been turned into spam zombies, under the control of hackers.

ISPs are also being encouraged to apply rate-limiting controls for email relays and to block port 25 (a common Internet port used for email) for inappropriate use as part of an educational campaign called Operation Spam Zombies. ISPs are also being urged to educate consumers about net security and to provide tools to disinfect computers under one of the most ambitious net security education initiatives to date.

Trojans such as Phatbot are often used to seize control of Windows PCs, turning them into zombie clients in networks of compromised PCs (botnets). These botnets are used to send spam or as platforms for DDoS attacks, carrying out criminal attacks right under the noses of their rightful owners. The tactic allows hackers to offload the computing effort in sending spam while creating a means to get past basic junk mail filters. According to email security firm MX Logic shows that during April, on average zombie PCs accounted for 44 percent of all spam.

Steve Linford, director of anti-spam organisation Spamhaus, said the FTC's advice was basically common sense even though it was often ignored by ISPs who either didn't know how to apply controls or couldn't be bothered to carry out the work. "This is something we've been advocating for years but the addition of more voices can only help the message get through," he added.

The FTC is leading the publicity drive on Operation Spam Zombies because US ISPs are the main target audience of the campaign. UK groups like Spamhaus and government agencies like the DTI and OFT are also getting behind Operation Spam Zombie which was developed by members of the London Action Plan, an international network combating spam. ®

Related stories

Britain tops zombie PC charts
Rise of the botnets
US tops junk mail list of shame - again
Telenor takes down 'massive' botnet

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
Four fake Google haxbots hit YOUR WEBSITE every day
Goog the perfect ruse to slip into SEO orfice
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.