Feeds

Infamous Storm botnet rises from the grave

Undead penis pill spam

SANS - Survey on application security programs

After blowing itself out 18 months ago, the notorious Storm botnet is back, researchers from CA said Tuesday.

Storm - once responsible for churning out 20 percent of the world's spam - started to peter out in September 2007, when Microsoft targeted it through the Malicious Software Removal Tool. Some 274,372 demonized PCs were exorcised during the first month alone. A year later, researchers from Marshal declared the menace dead.

Now, security watchers at CA say they've spotted a new botnet that bears the hallmarks of Storm and is sending out a "massive volume of spam emails to targeted recipients." An analysis of the command and control servers shows it used Base64 encoded data to send infected machines instructions and templates for junk-mail relating to adult dating services, penis pills and other online pharmacy scams.

"The characteristics and behaviors are very much Storm-related in terms of the command and control and the mechanism that it uses to identify the content of the mail messages and who and how to send them," Don DeBolt, head of CA's research team, told The Register. "It's all utilizing the same tactics and methodologies that the Storm Worm did."

Storm made its debut in early 2007 and got its name from the brutal storms that hit Europe at that time. Its success at pumping out huge amounts of spam helped pave the way for other junkmail botnets such as Srizbi, Mega-D, and Rustock, which borrowed many of the same social-engineering come-ons and other tactics. In addition to the crushing blow from Microsoft, Storm's demise was also brought about by researchers who discovered a design flaw that allowed them disrupt its command and control channels.

CA has identified three varients of Storm that at time of writing were detected by 26, 25 and 24of the top 41 anti-virus products. CA's writeup is here. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.