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Botnets Rocked the Internet World in 2009

According to MessageLabs Intelligence 2009 Security Report, botnets were the major online security problem faced this year. As per the report, presently, not less than 5 Million infected systems are controlled by ten major strong spam distributing botnets, including Rustock, Cutwail and Mega-D.

The report also noted that Cutwail botnet dominated across both malware and spam in 2009. Of all spam, Cutwail was responsible for sending 29%, i.e. 8500 Billion junk messages during April-November 2009. The botnet also used its vigor to send spam e-mails, which contained Bredolab Trojan dropper, concealed as a .ZIP file attachment.

According to experts, Bredolab was specially designed to give complete control of the target system to the sender, so that is could further be used to distribute spyware, adware or malware onto the users' system. In late 2009, the proportion of spam spreading Bredolab increased steadily. In October 2009, this percentage reached highest levels, when around 3.6 Billion Bredolab malware spam were estimated to be in circulation.

MessageLabs Intelligence senior analyst at Symantec, Paul Wood, commented that besides spamming botnets, there are several other botnets that are trying to expand their presence on the back of a large number of compromised systems, as per the news published by SCMagazine on December 8, 2009.

As per the report, in 2009, the average rate of detected spam was 87.7%. In February 2009, the detected spam rate was at a low of 73.3%, while in May, it touched a high of 90.4%. In 2008, when McColo was terminated, there was a drop in the amount of spam e-mails; however, it soon resumed its pace.

Spam volumes were largely affected by the closure of McColo as spammers took a few weeks to recover. However, it has been noticed that this year, the botnet technology has developed in such a manner that there is no scope of failure, as per the news published by V3.co.uk on December 8, 2009.

It is anticipated that next year will experience even more sophisticated and autonomous botnets, and every node is expected to contain an independent inbuilt coding so as to coordinate and increase its survival

Related article: Botnet Misuses Google Analytics

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