Cyber Criminals Favoring Smaller Botnets over Larger Ones
In a bid to thwart security software firms, online criminals setting up botnets are cutting down their networks of infected computers.
Virus-infected computers turn into zombies unknowingly in a botnet - a network that is used for sending spam and for repeated attacks on some other machines. The botnet creators, who mostly aim to develop the biggest botnet of the affected computers in order to rent it out to criminals, control the zombie army remotely.
However, researchers from F-Secure, an anti-virus company, witnessed such networks being divided into smaller groups of infected computers, as the large botnets are not proving to be much profitable for the cyber-criminals.
Mika Stahlberg of F-Secure's Security Research Program, said that most of the botnets are controlled through Internet relay chats, as per Vnunet.com news on 27 September 2007.
Stahlberg said that although the company still finds huge botnets globally, coders have ceased to attempt building the big botnet they could possibly build, as it no longer make money more than the collection of the smaller botnets, as per the statement that Silicon.com published on 28 September 2007,
F-Secure points out that in doing so, the botnet bandits are also committing a mistake on the cautious part by shunning the larger botnets, because the entire botnet could be lost if the central server in control of a network malfunctions.
Sean Sullivan, F-Secure's Technical Expert, said that virus writers could no longer defeat the security companies with the complex codes, and hence are now resorting to the creation of malware factories in order to swamp the security companies. Silicon.com published this news on 28 September 2007.
Sullivan further said it was a big issue earlier when the discovery of a virus was considered a big event, and that it has today progressed to 10,000 malware samples a day, which is usually the same code in different variations.
F-Secure considers botnets to be European in nature. The US leads the world in terms of phishing and spam attacks, whereas South America is amongst the topmost sources for banking Trojans.
The apparent lowering in levels of phishing is being partly attributed to the public awareness regarding the problem.
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» SPAMfighter News - 16-10-2007