Feeds

DDoS attacks fall as crackers turn to spam

Baron Samedi and chums redeploy zombie armies

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Denial of service attacks are falling out of favour with black hat hackers because using compromised machines to send spam is a more lucrative - and less risky - way of making money illicitly.

Networks of compromised PCs can be used for purposes including relaying junk mail or flooding targeted websites with spurious traffic.

Symantec reckons the noticeable fall in denial of service attacks it witnessed in the second half of 2006 is down to the growing difficulty in launching such attacks, and getting victims to pay up even if these assaults are successful. Stealthier misuse of compromised PCs - such as sending spam - poses far less risk, the security firm argues.

Symantec recorded an average of 5,213 denial of service (DoS) attacks per day in the second half of 2006, down from 6,110 in the first half of last year. The US was the target of most DoS attacks accounting for 52 per cent of the worldwide total.

"DoS attacks are loud and risky. Whenever a bot-network owner carries out a denial of service attack they run the risk of losing some of their bots. This could happen either because an attacking computer is identified and disinfected, or if it is simply blocked by its ISP from accessing the network," Symantec researcher Yazan Gable notes in a posting to Symantec's Security Response Weblog.

Gable adds that the "up-front" costs in setting up a botnet before any hope of payment, as well as the possible loss of an entire bot network if a command and control server is identified, also act as a deterrent.

"It is likely that bot network owners are now moving away from DoS extortion and towards more lucrative ventures like spam. Not surprisingly, we saw a noted increase in spam volumes in the last six months of 2006," he added. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
TorrentLocker unpicked: Crypto coding shocker defeats extortionists
Lousy XOR opens door into which victims can shove a foot
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
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
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.
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.
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.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.