Feeds

Waledac zombie attacks rise from the grave

As hard to kill as a horror movie baddie

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Updated Update: Trend Labs has reclassified the malware as a Bredolab variant instead of Waledac. That means the central premise of out original story - that Waladec - is back from the grave - is wrong.

"An unfortunate combination of human and machine errors let to the mislabeling of this threat as Waledac. Apologies for the confusion," it said.

Attacks designed to draft new recruits into the infamous Waledac spambot network are back from the dead, months after the zombie network was effectively decapitated.

Court-issued takedown orders against scores of Waledac-related domains were combined with the disruption of the botnet's peer-to-peer communications and traditional server takedowns to shut down Waladec's command and control structure back in February.

The Microsoft-led operation was rightly hailed as a big success but did nothing to clean up an estimated 90,000 infected bot clients even though it stemmed the tide of spam from these machines. Left without spam templates or instructions, these machines have remained dormant for months.

However, over recent weeks, the botnet is making a comeback of sorts. Spammed messages containing malicious attachment harbouring Waladec agents and disguised as tax invoices or job offers and the like have begun appearing, Trend Micro warns.

The same run of spam messages is also being used to spread fake anti-virus and other scams unrelated to Waledac, and there's no sign that a new command and control structure, much less a fresh round of spamming, has begun.

Nonetheless, security watchers are monitoring the development anxiously. "Waledac is making a comeback of sorts even if its main C&C servers have been removed from the picture," writes Jonathan Leopando of Trend Micro. "Even if you can deal with one aspect of a threat, others can still cause problems down the road."

The last E-variant of the infamous Conficker worm downloaded Waledac spam clients and SpyProtect 2009, a scareware product, onto compromised PCs back in April 2009, but previous distribution methods for the malware have largely focused on infected email attachments, as with the latest attack. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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.