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Rustock Become The World’s Largest Spam Botnet

According to Marshal's TRACE (Threat Research and Content Engineering) team, Rustock botnet has overtaken the Srizbi botnet as the largest spam spewing botnet in the world by sending out 31.1% of the total spam compared to 30.7% from Srizbi botnet in the last week of July 2008.

Phil Hay, Lead Threat Analyst for Marshal's TRACE Team, said that nearly 33% of the total spams circulating during the end week of July 2008 were malicious, as reported by MarketWatch on August 7, 2008.

Moreover, the Security Analyst at TRACE said that Rustock is largely accountable for the increase in harmful spam, and according to their analysis, the growth of Rustock is directly related to the distribution of spam.

As per previous reports, Rustock started sending massive amount of spam that used false news headlines in late June 2008. The analysis further revealed that these e-mails were simple in appearance and could be easily spotted as spam. Nevertheless, after its first phase of success, Rustock botnet operated a more compelling format that of combining shocking satirical captions leading to a counterfeit video in fake Website. These video files contain a Trojan pretending to be a video codec that users were enticed to click.

The security analysts further said that these two conditions, satirical headlines and phony video, helped Rustock move to the first position in pushing out voluminous spam.

While Rustock keeps on growing, TRACE Security Experts express concern about the increasing professionalism and sophistication of those behind the dominant botnets along with their increasing emphasis on spam that help in malware distribution.

Further, the security analysts said that the criminals behind botnets are earning huge money due to their success in sending large amounts of spam and in return getting paid money from spammers who use their services.

And while the amount of spam is becoming increasingly dangerous, TRACE analysts said that it clearly shows how botnet tactics are changing. Previously, the botnet operators adopted an approach of remaining low as they pushed spam slowly, but now their approaches are getting much more aggressive with little concern about getting known.

Related article: Rustock Trojan Prepares For Future Threats

» SPAMfighter News - 8/20/2008

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