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Infamous RBN quits China

Nexus of evil may be broken up

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Infamous cybercrime hosting outfit Russian Business Network (RBN) has disappeared again, days after quitting Russia and setting up shop in China.

RBN obtained seven net blocks of Chinese IP addresses. Last Wednesday (8 November), some of RBN's clients began popping up on some of the 5,120 IP addresses it had acquired. But a day later China cut the connection to six of the seven net blocks controlled by RBN, once again forcing it offline.

Security researchers at VeriSign iDefense, who have kept a close eye on the cybercrime network's activities, reckon the organisation may break itself up into smaller parts in an effort to make its business less visible. The days of RBM as a monolithic organisation may be numbered.

"[A break-up] may keep it under the radar, but it's also more expensive for them, and it's riskier, too, because the more ISPs that it has to deal with, the better the chance that one of those ISPs says 'no' to hosting RBN content and shuts them off," an iDefense analyst told Computerworld.

RBN is notorious for hosting multiple instances of malware and web browser exploits. More recently it was fingered as the source of exploits based on a vulnerability in Adobe's Acrobat Reader. Its so-called "bulletproof hosting" facilities are also suspected of harbouring child pornography and phishing sites. ®

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