Feeds

Most spam comes from just six botnets

Diary of the Dead

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

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. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
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
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.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.