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Storm Spewing a Fifth of World Spam

In its latest Intelligence Report, MessageLabs has held the Storm Botnet squarely responsible for a fifth of the total spam mails worldwide.

The report says that the Storm Botnet is causing such unrest in the world of security that it has become difficult to manage as the network increasingly churns out malware. The botnet, which is built with zombie or compromised computers that have been infected with malicious software, is remotely controlled outside their owners' knowledge. An estimated 250,000 to 1 Million computers brought within the fold of the botnet that provides the network its sheer strength.

Mark Sunner, Chief Security Analyst, MessageLabs, said that over 78% of the total spam from the Storm Botnet in Q1 2008 either campaigned for replica watches, male enlargement pills, or sex-oriented content, as reported by idm.net.au on April 3, 2008.

Sunner further said that Storm's concentration on spam is just a beginning of the problem as the number of its e-mails carrying malware together with the phishing attacks is now escalating.

Statistics from MessageLabs reveal that the company intercepted over 4 Million e-mails sent out from the Storm Botnet since January 2008. These e-mails contained malicious links or focused on wage phishing assaults.

The report's results also shown that the Storm Botnet was being fragmented so that it's controllers could use the separate parts to distribute malware or spew out junk e-mail depending on what business model the criminal devised.

Paul Wood, Senior Analyst, MessageLabs comments that a significant factor relating to the Storm Botnet is its peer-to-peer approach that makes it much harder to impair in terms of the security involved, as reported by ITPRO on April 2, 2008.

According to another important point in the report, the growing number of security hacks and data breaches has increased the wisdom of business concerns. They are now more concerned about the impact these security risks can make on social networking sites. So, they are proactively enhancing their defenses against various threats relating to employee productivity and data loss. Incidentally, the threat on social sites has led to blocking of Facebook for 11% of firms.

Related article: Storm Worm Returns with Follow-Up Attack

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