Feeds

Spam net snared a quarter million bots, says conqueror

Putting the mega in Mega-D

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Herders behind the Mega-D botnet may have corralled nearly a quarter million infected machines into their spam-churning enterprise before it was recently crippled by white hat hackers.

The botnet, which was once responsible for an estimated third of the world's spam output, was knocked out of commission last week by employees of security firm FireEye. After unplugging the Mega-D master control channels, the researchers set up a benign "sinkhole" channel for the bots to report to and waited to see what would happen.

Over five days, 487,340 unique IP addresses reported to the ad-hoc server. Using findings derived from last year's take-down of the separate Srizbi botnet, FireEye estimates that the figure translates to 248,590 unique machines. Unlike Mega-D, Srizbi included an accounting mechanism that identified each infected machine. They then analyzed the number of IP addresses and noted that after five days, it was about double the number of individual Srizbi victims.

"Any botnet size estimate should be taken with a grain of salt as they are notoriously hard to calculate and there is a lot of conflicting data out there," FireEye's Todd Rosenberry cautions.

Based on the IP addresses, the researchers also estimated that Brazil is most infected country, accounting for 11.5 percent of the victims, followed closely by India and Viet Nam. In all, 214 countries were represented.

FireEye said that it is continuing to monitor Mega-D but plans to turn over maintenance of the sinkhole to Shadowserver. The volunteer crew has an established infrastructure and relationships with ISPs and various Computer Emergency Response Teams, or CERTS, around the world. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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?