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Undead Bredolab zombie network lashes out from the grave

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The decapitation of command and control servers associated with the infamous Bredolab botnet, and the arrest of a suspect in Armenia, is a fantastic step forward for internet hygiene. But these steps have nevertheless failed to stop all malicious activity associated with the zombie network.

An operation led by the Dutch police led to the takedown of 143 command and control servers associated with the information-stealing botnet, estimated to have infected 30 million computers worldwide. Dutch net firm Fox-IT used the botnet itself to inform infected victims that their PCs had been pwned, sending them to a notice here.

Despite all this, at least two botnet command nodes remain active. The remaining infected nodes that dial into these nodes in Kazakhstan and Russia will be interacted to download a fake anti-virus package called Antivirusplus and distribute spam, respectively. Both domains remain active at the time of writing, although a third command and control node in Russia, which flickered alive earlier this week, appears to have gone inactive.

A detailed blog post by net security firm FireEye concludes that a portion of the Bredolab botnet remains active. It reckons a second group of bot herders are issuing new instructions through various domains to the remaining population of zombie drones in the Bredolab botnet. These cybercrooks are either using leaked copies of Bredolab code to build and maintain their own botnet or they are continuing to use portions of Bredolab that they had previously rented from the primary hacker.

Dutch police told PC World that their investigation into Bredolab remains ongoing, adding that its takedown operation is not yet over. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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