Feeds

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

It's oh so quiet

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.