Feeds

Small but lethal Lethic is biggest junk mail villain

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

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

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
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
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
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
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.