Feeds

Waledac zombie attacks rise from the grave

As hard to kill as a horror movie baddie

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
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.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.