Feeds

Storm worm botnet turns into April shower

Shrinking away

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The Storm worm botnet shrank in April to just five per cent of its original size, according to MessageLabs, which conducts a monthly analysis of malware trends.

New tools that remove Storm infections are responsible for the huge fall in Storm-infected machines, the net security firm says. By the end of Aprl the Storm Worm botnet had about 100,000 compromised computers, compared with two million zombie machines in March. The decline is also evident in the 57 per cent slump in malware-laden emails the Storm botnet distributed in April.

While the Storm botnet shrank, analysis of web-based malware identified that 36.1 per cent of interceptions in April were new, up 25 per cent on March. MessageLabs also identified an average of 1,214 new websites per day harboring malware and other potentially unwanted programs such as spyware and adware. This is an increase of 619 per day compared with the previous month.

In the week of 30th anniversary of the first spam message, MessageLabs identified a new spamming technique being used to send authenticated spam email via Yahoo!’s SMTP servers. This spam attack accounts for one percent of all spam intercepted in April and has been used to advertise services for Canadian Pharmacy, a well-known spam operation. By using the SMTP server and a DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) authentication technique, the spammers can ensure that the email generated is more likely to get past conventional anti-spam filters.

Targeted Trojans hit record daily levels last month. MessageLabs intercepting approximately 70 targeted Trojans per day, compared to 28 per day in December 2007.

Scammers as well as malware authors are adopting their tactics. 419 advanced fee fraudsters have established profiles with false credentials on professional social networking sites such as Linked-In to lend a bogus air of legitimacy to their scams, MessageLabs reports.

Storm Front

The Storm Worm Trojan surfaced on 17 January 2007 in emails seeking to trick recipients into visiting maliciously-constructed websites by purporting to give information on the storms ravaging Europe at the time.

Since then the Russian authors of this malware have refined their tactics. Their ability to adapt a variety of social engineering tricks to infect gullible users has become a hallmark of Storm's success.

The main attack methodology - tricking users into visiting maliciously constructed websites that attempt to load botnet clients onto vulnerable PCs - has remained much the same.

Compromised machines, however they are infected, become zombie clients under the control of hackers. The Storm Worm was the first botnet client to be based on a peer-to-peer (P2P) command and control protocol, an approach that makes networks of compromised PCs far more difficult to shut down ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
JLaw, Kate Upton exposed in celeb nude pics hack
100 women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.