Feeds

DDoS bot infests food processing firms

Miscreants make mincemeat

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

A new family of malware agents is attacking the websites of firms involved in the industrial food processing industry.

Variants of the Darkshell botnet agent, circulating in China, turn infected Windows machines into attack drones. Infected machines regularly phone in to command and control nodes for instructions, periodically receiving instructions on sites to inundate with junk traffic.

Arbor Networks, which has been tracking the activities of the cybercrime networks for the last three months, reports that Darkshell botnets have launched DDoS attacks against 97 unique victims, mostly in China (65) and the United States (23).

Victims have included online merchants of baby products and jewellery as well as video game related sites. However, a big percentage of targets narrowly focused on the websites of small manufacturers of industrial food processing equipment and machinery.

"We have logged attacks against at least 16 such victims emanating from the Darkshell botnets, comprising approximately 40 per cent of the victims that we sampled," Arbor security analyst Jeff Edwards reports.

"One can only speculate on the reasons for this aggressive focus on such a relatively tiny niche within the online landscape. Several such attacks have been sustained for over 60 hours at a time, and most of these equipment vendors have suffered multiple repeat attacks during this interval of time."

Even more curiously, the attacks seem to focus on three or four URLs on a targeted website that refer to specific products. "We have also observed instances in which multiple Darkshell botnets engaged in coordinated attacks against a single victim (again, vendors of industrial food processing equipment)," said Arbor.

Darkshell is not technically sophisticated, but it stands out from the rogue's gallery of botnet agents because of its particular (unusual) focus in attacking websites of industrial food processing firms, a sign of the increased diversification and specialisation of the underground economy.

Arbor doesn't speculate in its detailed write-up of the malware, but the most obvious explanation is that the dodgy sorts behind Darkshell are running a DDoS for hire operation for business rivals of the targeted firms. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.