Botnets claim 7-fold increase in victims
Are we winning the cybercrime war yet?
Botnets used in banking credential theft and other criminal enterprises made huge gains in 2010, claiming more than seven times as many victims as the previous year, according to a report issued by a security firm that follows the large networks of infected machines.
The dramatic increase was fueled by improvements in DIY botnet construction kits, which allowed internet-based fraudsters to construct new networks that quickly gained traction, the report from Damballa said. As a result, six of the 10 biggest botnets of 2010 weren't in existence the previous year. New infection technology that targets a hard drive's targets a hard drive's master boot record and changes the machine's boot options also played role.
“Throughout the year, the Top 10 largest botnets increased their total share of all bot infected victims,” the report (PDF) states. “At the beginning of the year approximately 22% of observed botnet victims were infected with malware attributed to just ten botnet operators. By the end of the year, this proportion had grown to nearly 57% - more than doubling their share of global botnet victims.”
In the run-up to Christmas week, the total number of unique botnet victims was 654 percent higher than the same population was at the beginning of the year. The average incremental growth throughout the year was 8 percent.
In addition to the release of refurbished Zeus crimeware kit, other DIY kits available in underground forums are marketed under names such as Phoenix, Darkness, BlackEnergy, and Eleonore. The packages allow criminals to quickly build botnets without having to write the code from scratch.
Damballa's report contrasted with the findings of anther Atlanta-based security firm, Secure Works, which was recently purchased by Dell. Secure Works' Spambot Evolution 2011 said botnets that specialize in sending spam largely marked time last year, with fewer new families emerging and only incremental changes in existing ones.
Like the botnets observed by Damballa, many of the spambots described by Secure Works researcher Joe Stewart made vast improvements in concealing the infections. For instance, Rustock, the biggest spam network with an estimated 250,000 zombies, waits as long as five days after taking hold of a system before it begins sending junk messages. Rustock control servers also run a TOR exit node, “likely in an attempt to avoid disconnection by network administrations who might think the abuse is originating elsewhere,” Stewart writes. ®
More useful questions ...
More useful questions are:
What precautions the average home user can take to avoid being "recruited" by a bot?
How can an average home user tell whether his/her machine has been recruited by a bot?
What can an average home user do if his/her machine is infected by a bot?
If there are no satisfactory answers *not requiring specialist knowledge or equipment on the part of the user*, then we have lost.
Are you trying to win prick of the year or something? Your posts are not useful in any way. People that want to use linux already do and the rest of us that want to use windows have also made that choice.
Everyone hates the apple fanbois yet somehow the linux fanbois are treated differently. But they shouldn't be, they are equally the most annoying beings known to man.
If the only addition to the conversation you can make is "derr, I are teh use linux and you well below meh cos i are amazing" then please do us all a favour and get back under your rock.
Pope is Catholic
The government give £63m to police to combat £1.8bn+ of e-crime
NHTCU was scrapped
National Police e-crime had 20 officers (2 of them computer forensics types) at set up
UK Employers don't educate staff on security threats, and the ICO has only just got fines up and running
There is no disclosure law in the UK (e.g. SB1386), or company law requiring breaches to be reported in the audit or shareholders reports.
Is anybody surprised?