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Rustock Botnet Declines to Half of its Original Strength

Recently, Microsoft stated that, the synchronized take-down of the Rustock botnet and follow-up attempts had eliminated the malware from more than half of the computers once hijacked by the Russian hackers, as reported by COMPUTERWORLD on July 05, 2011.

The Rustock botnet was believed to have dispatched out billions of spam e-mails regularly. Richard Broscovitch, Senior Attorney at Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit, stated that, since the time of the actual takedown to now, they estimate that, the Rustock botnet is presently less than half the size it was when they shut down Rustock during March (2011), as reported by Redmondmag on July 05, 2011.

He said that, since March 2011, when Microsoft lawyers and U.S. Marshals stopped Rustock command and control (C&C) servers at 5 Web hosting providers in 7 U.S. cities, the number of Windows computers infected with the malware has declined globally from 1.6 Million to slight above 700,000, as of June 18, 2011.

Richard further added that, the infection decline took place much more rapidly than it did for Waledac over a similar period of time during 2010, as reported by V3 (UK) on July 05, 2011.

Microsoft's report offers a thorough overview of how the Rustock Trojan works, and how most of the computers infected with it are also infected with extra malware. Microsoft conducted a test of the virus by deploying it on a clean machine. Within five minutes, the computer was infected with various redundant software and several of those programs resulted in the downloading and installation of extra malware.

As per the report, infected computers in the US generated the most sinkhole traffic during the first week, with 55.8 Million attacks. France stood second with 13.7 Million attacks. France was followed by Turkey (13.4 Million), Canada (11.4 Million), India (7.3 Million), and Brazil (7.1 Million). Few locations with large numbers of machines nonetheless generated comparatively few hits, including China (423,078 hits during first week), Chile (500,925), Denmark (539,577), and Norway (581,263).

Related article: Rustock Become The World’s Largest Spam Botnet

» SPAMfighter News - 7/12/2011

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