Feeds

Pump-and-dump spam domains go silent after botnet closure

It's oh so quiet

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

Pump-and-dump spam domains have gone quiet since the closure of a major botnet operation earlier this month. The finding, by Alex Shipp of MessageLabs, suggests that a botnet (a network of compromised machines controlled by hackers) thought to be associated mainly with adware distribution was also used to distribute junk mail on a massive scale.

Spammers register pump-and-dump spam domains for use in spam runs. These domains are commonly discarded after a few days. The tactic is commonplace but the the arrest of alleged botmaster Jeanson James Ancheta, 20, of Downey, California, on 3 November has been accompanied by a radical shift in the landscape.

"Up to recently, the graphs were all fairly smooth, with the stats showing that 12 days was about the maximum lifetime for this type of domain, while 30 per cent only lasted a day or under, and 10 per cent only lasted three hours or under," Shipp said. "This kind of activity just disappeared completely from the radar on 2 November."

Shipp reckons that the changes in pump-and-dump domains (which are mostly still live though inactive) are "too big a coincidence" to be explained by pure chance. ®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.