Feeds

Microsoft takes scissors to Srizbi

Botnet's last stand

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

Microsoft security teams have struck what they hope is a fatal blow at Srizbi, the once-powerful spam botnet that has been fighting for its life since last year's demise of two US-based network providers that offered vital lifelines.

The company's Malicious Software Removal Tool has already proved invaluable in mass disinfections of major pests. In October, for instance, it went after Rustock, another large botnet used to relay spam through hundreds of thousands of infected machines.

Srizbi spreads mostly through trojans that are included in emails. Once clicked on, they install a kernel-mode rootkit that is extremely hard to eradicate. Once one of the world's biggest spam botnets, it faced a setback in November when California McColo was disconnected amid research that showed it was used to host the master channels used to control the rogue network. It is usually detected as Spammer:WinNT/Srizbi.

"We hope to make a positive impact with the addition of Win32/Srizbi into MSRT," Microsoft's Vincent Tiu writes.

This month's MSRT was unleashed on Tuesday, the same day Redmond released patches fixing security vulnerabilities in four of its products. Microsoft warned that "consistent exploit code" for critical remote execution flaws in Internet Explorer was likely, meaning it's probably only a matter of time until attacks in the wild are seen.

The company also plugged critical holes in its Exchange server. Attackers could target the vulnerabilities by sending maliciously crafted emails that caused the machines to shut down or hijacked.

This month's Patch Tuesday also included fixes for less severe vulnerabilities in Microsoft's SQL Server and Office Visio.

For an overview of the patches, head over to this page from Sans.

Not to be outdone, Research in Motion offered a patch for software that allows users to easily install software on their BlackBerry devices. The BlackBerry Application Web Loader suffers from a buffer overflow defect that could allow attackers to remotely install software on a vulnerable system.

Secunia rates the vulnerability "highly critical," the second highest ranking in its five-notch scale. RIM has more about it here. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.