Feeds

Small but lethal Lethic is biggest junk mail villain

MS cleaned botnet infections from over 6.5 million computers in one month

Seven Steps to Software Security

Botnet networks of compromised PCs are responsible for 87 per cent of all spam, according to figures released by Microsoft at the RSA Conference on Wednesday.

Adrienne Hall, general manager of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing program, told delegates: "Botnets are the prime suspect in cybercrime, the core of the threat."

Hall unveiled a report that revealed that the Lethic zombie army was responsible for 56.7 per cent of botnet-sourced junk mail between March and June of 2010. Lethic agents are running on only 8.3 per cent of known botnet IP addresses, so each compromised machine is made to work extremely hard in churning out junk. "A takedown of the Lethic command and control servers in January 2010 disrupted the ability of spammers to distribute junk mail. However the Cybercrooks behind Lethic regained and re-established control of the botnet," the report said.

Microsoft reports that the Rustock and Cutwail botnets were the next two most prolific junk mail sources in Q2 2010, churning out 16.9 per cent and 15.4 per cent of botnet-manufactured spam respectively.

Redmond's statistics come from enterprise users of its Forefront Online Protection for Exchange (FOPE) spam filtering services.

The latest edition of Microsoft's security intelligence report provides a detailed breakdown of the various nefarious activities of the world's most noxious botnets. As well as providing a platform for spam distribution, many networks of compromised machines are used for phishing attacks, identity theft, click fraud and denial of service attacks.

Hall said that between April and June 2010, Microsoft cleaned botnet infections from more than 6.5 million computers worldwide. On Tuesday, Redmond added detection for the infamous Zeus crimeware Trojan to its malicious software removal tool, an application that cleans infection from compromised PCs and comes as an adjunct to Microsoft monthly Patch Tuesday security updates. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
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
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.