Feeds

Most spam comes from just six botnets

Diary of the Dead

Security for virtualized datacentres

Six botnets are responsible for 85 per cent of all spam, according to an analysis by net security firm Marshal.

The Srizbi botnet is reckoned to be the largest single source of spam - accounting for 39 per cent of junk mail messages – followed by the Rustock botnet, responsible for 21 per cent of the spam clogging up users' inboxes.

Spam emanating from the Mega-D botnet, which Marshal reckons was the leading source of junk mail in early February, was temporarily stemmed after control servers were taken out in mid-February. The estimated 35,000 zombie clients associated with the Mega-D botnet were infected with the Ozdok Trojan.

After 10 days of inactivity, spam from compromised hosts began flowing again earlier this week, after hackers re-established control. Despite the break in transmission, Spam-D accounted for an estimated 11 per cent of junk mail hitting Marshal's spam traps during February.

Other active spam botnets include Hacktool.Spammer (AKA Spam-Mailer) and botnets associated with the Pushdo (AKA Pandex) family of malware.

The notorious Storm botnet, estimated to include about 85,000 compromised hosts, is thought to be responsible for only three per cent of spam.

"The size of a botnet, measured by how many bots it has, does not necessarily correlate with how much spam it sends. Our team has observed huge variations in the rate at which different spambots pump out spam," said Bradley Anstis, VP of products at Marshal.

In many instance, spammers have access to multiple botnets. In addition to Mega-D, other botnets - including Srizbi, Rustock, Hacktool.Spammer and Pushdo - have been simultaneously sending spam promoting Express Herbals, a line of male enhancement pills.

According to February statistics from managed security firm Network Box, the US continued to pump out the most spam and spread the most viruses. The country accounted for 13 per cent of all viruses; and was the source of 15 per cent of all spam, more than double its closest junk mail rival, Turkey. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
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
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.