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Sophos Warned about the Rising Botnet Threats

According to antivirus company Sophos, as more and more botnets are being used, the providers of managed IT security are coming across a number of challenges.

Graham Cluley, Senior Technology Consultant at Sophos, a company that looks after network security, said that almost 99% of spam were dispatched through botnets instead of spammers' personal computers, which implied that end-users could be transmitting malicious content unknowingly, as reported by onestopclick on March 20, 2009.

Mr. Cluley added that the use of botnets was the key method with which online criminals committed crimes these days and there was a wide range of activities one could do with a botnet. Generally, botnets are used to send spam to large number of computers.

Moreover, such an activity could generate huge sums of cash for people controlling the botnets, such as hackers. Further, botnets create scope for cyber criminals who engage in illicit online activities.

Security experts state that botnet owners use the infected networks to push out the majority of spam messages. These messages create the base for malicious commercial promotions along with schemes that divert unwitting users to websites that install malware on their systems. Botnets are also utilized to spread malicious programs as well as to launch attacks that could bring down government or commercial websites.

In 2008, the biggest botnet that was tracked had 1.5 Million infected PCs with which hackers tried to crack 'CAPTCHAS,' a kind of test that compels users applying for Web utilities to verify that they are human beings.

Security experts state that botnets have resulted in the gathering of the best security professionals for computers to ward off potential damage. Recently, Microsoft declared a reward of $250,000 for providing information about the creator of the Conficker virus.

Furthermore, security experts note that the malware spreads to an extent that matches with that of the most dangerous of previous viruses, such as the 'I Love You' virus. Additionally, Internet security firm Prevx lately found an online site where stolen data from infected PCs were stored, a finding that provides a curious case study.

Related article: Spike in Attacks Causes Early Release of Windows Patch

» SPAMfighter News - 3/26/2009

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