Feeds

Pirate Bay clampdown prompted file sharing site spike

A true 'cloud computing' effort, reports McAfee

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Attempts to shut down notorious torrent tracker site The Pirate Bay have spurred a four-fold increase in the number of file sharing websites during the third quarter of 2009.

At least some of these sites are primarily designed to distribute scareware and other types of malware rather than pirated content.

Net security firm McAfee reports that a 300 per cent increase in file sharing sites that offer music and films has been accompanied by a sharp increase in associated malware-themed scams. Some of the newly created sites are littered with ruses designed to trick users into downloading various strains of malware.

Filesharing fans began creating their own sites in support of The Pirate Bay community when the site came under legal attack in Sweden during August, leaving it temporarily unavailable, McAfee explains.

In the days prior to the shutdown anonymizers indexed and relayed the data to users who might be blocked. Open-source code was available to anyone who wanted to help with redistribution of the bit torrents. This was a true "cloud computing" effort, as the masses stepped up to make this database of torrents (legal, infringed, and malicious) available to others.

When the site returned, these new torrent sites dropped off the net, taking the number of file sharing sites to pre-Pirate Bay takedown levels. McAfee reckons the number of file sharing sites will again increase during the Christmas holiday, based on earlier spikes in the creation of new sites that have accompanied the release of summer blockbusters and around the time of the Oscar awards.

During the third calendar quarter of 2009, McAfee researchers recorded a significant rise in denial-of-service attacks, including some that demanded ransom pay-offs. Four Australian sports betting firms (Sportingbet Australia, Sportsbet, Sports Alive, and Betchoice) were reportedly taken offline during major sporting events such as Australian Football League and National Rugby League finals.

Cybercrooks are offering to demo DDoS attacks to prospective buyers of site takedowns for hire services, which are growing increasingly sophisticated, McAfee adds. The latest edition of McAfee's quarterly threats report also found that spam hit 92 per cent of all email, a record high. Both the spam and DDoS attack traffic largely comes from botnet networks of compromised PCs. McAfee said it recorded the creation of 13 million new zombies in Q3 2009.

McAfee's latest security threat report, which explains these various developments in the cybercrime landscape in greater depth, can be found here (PDF). ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
UK smart meters arrive in 2020. Hackers have ALREADY found a flaw
Energy summit bods warned of free energy bonanza
DRUPAL-OPCALYPSE! Devs say best assume your CMS is owned
SQLi hole was hit hard, fast, and before most admins knew it needed patching
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Mozilla releases geolocating WiFi sniffer for Android
As if the civilians who never change access point passwords will ever opt out of this one
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.