Storm Worm Botnet Could Overpower Supercomputers
The massive and widely expanding Storm worm botnet has become so powerful that it can compromise the world's major supercomputers, according to security researchers. These researchers have been tracking the Microsoft (MSFT) Windows network that the forceful Storm worm has been taking control of. The worm with its latest attacks has been spreading non-stop over the Internet in the last three months of June-August 2007.
The number of computers getting the Storm worm infection range from one million to ten million, according to the different security sources. But all agree that the worm strikes at least thousands of new machines each day. This happens because the worm writers keep changing their tricks to get users to install it.
The Storm worm botnet is perhaps the first system to control the top supercomputers, which neither a mega corporation nor a government has done. This control is the work of criminals rather than a legitimate organization, according to Peter Gutman, computer scientist in New Zealand. ZDNet published this in news on September 6, 2007.
Although the estimates of the botnet's size range widely, researchers are unanimously opining that it is the largest zombie network to have ever been formed with the capability of performing the greatest damage.
The botnet's high power is able to blow away supercomputers, said Matt Sergeant, Chief anti-spam Technologist with MessageLabs. Information Week reported this on September 6, 2007. The botnet can blow away a total of the top 500 supercomputers with only two million of its zombie machines. Criminals' access to so much of computing power is rather frightening, but little is possible to mitigate it, sergeant said.
In terms of strength, there is no proper comparison between the top supercomputers and the botnet, primarily because it is difficult to know the exact size of the botnet or the power of the individual PCs in it.
Adam Swidler, Senior Manager with security company Postini, thinks that the botnet, even with one to two million computers, can still take control of a powerful supercomputer. The botnet could have a capacity more than [IBM(IBM)'s] Blue Gene, Swidler believes.
Related article: Storm Worm Returns with Follow-Up Attack
» SPAMfighter News - 21-09-2007