Feeds

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

It's oh so quiet

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Meet OneRNG: a fully-open entropy generator for a paranoid age
Kiwis to seek random investors for crowd-funded randomiser
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
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?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.