Feeds

Most spam comes from just six botnets

Diary of the Dead

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

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. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.