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Tequila botnet auto-destructs

Cover blown, ends it all

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A botnet targeting Mexican surfers has been dismantled just weeks after it first appeared, apparently by the cybercrook who established it rather than by any action by the federales or ISPs.

Trend Micro reckons cybercrooks pressed the auto-destruct on the Tequila botnet, perhaps because an earlier post by the security firm blew its cover and exposed the proxy servers and redirected hosts used by botherders in controlling the network of virus-infected, compromised PCs that made up its ranks. New instructions sent to the bots late last week effectively switched off the flow of phishing attack emails the zombie network was spreading.

The cybercrook behind the Tequila botnet wasted little time in establishing a new network of compromised PCs, dubbed the Mariachi botnet, but this zombie network is not as feature-rich or capable as its defunct sibling. By Monday however both botnets went offline after their respective command-and-control (C&C) servers were taken down. Hosting provider Bluehost pulled the plug on the Mariachi botnet while the more complex control infrastructure of the Tequilla botnet also went down, likely at the hands of its former master.

Trend Micro has a blog post on the rise and fall of the twin Mexican botnets here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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