Feeds

Storm worm botnet turns into April shower

Shrinking away

Reducing security risks from open source software

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 ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Microsoft: You NEED bad passwords and should re-use them a lot
Dirty QWERTY a perfect P@ssword1 for garbage websites
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'
Swapping other people's sexts is a fringe benefit, says Snowden
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
British data cops: We need greater powers and more money
You want data butt kicking, we need bigger boots - ICO
Crooks fling banking Trojan at Japanese smut site fans
Wait - they're doing online banking with an unpatched Windows PC?
NIST told to grow a pair and kick NSA to the curb
Lrn2crypto, oversight panel tells US govt's algorithm bods
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.