Botnet speed test uncovers drag racers of malware
Supercharged spam powerhouses revealed
Researchers have discovered that Zombie machines within the Xarvester and Rustock botnets are capable of sending up to 25,000 junk mail messages per hour.
The speed test, by security researchers at Marshal8e6, found that the two botnets are the muscle cars of the world of malware.
Marshal8e6 deliberately infested its lab computers with nine botnet agents reckoned to be the biggest source of spam or the strongest up-and-comers: Xarvester, Mega-D, Gheg, Grum, Donbot, Pushdo, Bobax, Rustock and Waledac. The botnets established by these strains of malware are thought to be collectively responsible for more than 70 percent of the world’s total volume of junk mail.
Security analysts looked at what changes each strain of malware made to the registry, what ports it communicated over and kept an eye on how much spam each bot type was capable of sending. Xarvester and Rustock threw off the most junk mail, 25K messages an hour or the equivalent of 600K spams a day.
The data on spam rates was harvested from a wider research project into botnets run by Marshal8e6 over the last two years.
"Over the past few years, botnets have revolutionised the spam industry and pushed spam volumes to epidemic proportions despite the best efforts of law enforcement and the computer security industry," said Phil Hay, senior threat analyst, Marshal8e6 TRACElabs. "Our intention was to better understand the origins of spam, and the malware that drives it."
The results of the botnet research can be found here. ®
but is your email server sending hundreds of thousands of emails a day over a typical home consumer broadband connection? If not, then you wouldn't get blocked. If you really need to, then wouldn't the small inconvenience of getting the ISP to exclude you from being put on the block list be worth it to allow them to put a system in place which reduces the huge amount of spam getting sent from the PCs of less tech-savvy users?
@Tim Schomer - @wortel
The ISP I referred to is XS4ALL - http://www.xs4all.nl, local to The Netherlands.
Not all that useful to UK residents i'm afraid, but if I find one of similar competence local to the UK I will of course let you know :)
The problem is
that when the LEAs do bust the bastards responsible for these botnets all that happens is that they get offered cushy jobs with security companies. So there's a strong incentive for malware authors to keep on pushing their crap, because they know full well that if they do get caught, they will be rewarded with lucrative jobs instead of being punished as they should be. Now if instead we had actual laws in place prohibiting convicted criminals from being employed as a result of their crimes and instead locked the little bastards up and threw away the key, that at least would be a start in curbing this plague. But as long as things go on as they are, we can only look forward to the Internet eventually being rendered completely unusable as every dick and their dog climbs onto the botnet bandwagon knowing they'll come out of it covered with gold.