Feeds

Spammers adopt stealth tactics

Slow burn

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Botnet controllers are switching to stealth tactics in a bid to avoid detection. Instead of mass mail-outs of spam and malicious code, they are adopting slower distribution tactics in a bid to avoid appearing on corporate security radars.

UK-based web security firm BlackSpider Technologies reports that one huge botnet, responsible for issuing 50m identical spam emails per day, compromises at least 150,000 distinct IP addresses. The use of a large number of machines - each sending out an average of 330 emails a day or around 40 per hour during the course of a working day - is a change from days of yore when a handful of compromised email servers would have been used to do the same job.

It's well known that packages such as Send-safe.com are used by spammers to control the distribution of junk mail broadband-connected PCs infected by viruses such as SoBig, but BlackSpider's figures on the mail-out rate from compromised machines add a fresh perspective to the problem.

BlackSpider Technologies CTO James Kay said this low mail-out rate means users of compromised machines will not notice anything untoward with their net connection. Because they don't notice anything amiss, the spambot remains undetected. "It’s about time law enforcement agencies took the botnet issue far more seriously. Ninety-eight per cent of spam and malicious code comes from machines with bad or unknown reputations, and we should be slapping online ASBOs (anti-social behaviour orders) on them to stop this criminal cycle," Kay said.

Kay added that spam purveyors are adopting the same stealth tactics as VXers. "It’s not dissimilar to the low-volume virus distribution tactic that we first saw last year, when hackers realised that releasing viruses in smaller numbers kept them out of sight of anti-virus vendors for far longer, causing more damage." ®

Remote control for virtualized 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
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.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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?
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.