Feeds

Botnet speed test uncovers drag racers of malware

Supercharged spam powerhouses revealed

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Meet OneRNG: a fully-open entropy generator for a paranoid age
Kiwis to seek random investors for crowd-funded randomiser
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.