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Bots Responsible for Spamming was Major Threat in 2007

Discussing trends in malware behavior, PandaLabs, through its annual report for 2007, indicates that botnets affected about half a million personal computers every day.

Operating as user's agents, bots represent programs that imitate human activity. This malicious behavior of the bots enables their owners to gain full control over the infected computer. In this manner, after acquiring control over thousands of computers, cyber criminals interconnect them to build the so-called botnets.

According to the annual report on malware by PandaLabs, about 11% of Personal Computers (PCs) worldwide are included in botnets, and these have sent nearly 85% of total spam.

During 2007, PandaLabs said that it had uncovered a number of tools, including Barracuda and Zunker, that cyber criminals had been using to administer botnets consisting of thousands of compromised computers across 50 countries in the world.

Technical Director for PandaLabs, Luis Corrons, said that the 'bot herder' or the person who creates the botnet often hires out his network to the party that bids the highest price. Cyber criminals who hire such networks use them for various criminal purposes like causing Denial of Service (DoS) conditions, downloading malicious software onto targeted computers, or sending out spam, the most common activity for online criminals. Earthtimes.org published this in news on January 18, 2008.

The report further indicates that spam remained one of the greatest threats all through 2007. Corrons estimated that the total spam pushed out in a single day would take almost 2,000 terabytes of space in the disk to store it.

Also, during 2007, home users received 50% of e-mail as spam while the corporate sector received 80-95% of junk e-mails.

The report also indicates that the source of spam and the subject matter used was varied in 2007. The most widely used topic in Q1 2007 was sexual health that was found in 54% of total spam. In Q2 and Q3, pharmaceuticals topped the subject list with 45% and 30% of detected spam respectively.

Among the countries that sent spam, Russia delivered 60%, with the USA following at 23%, Turkey at 6%, Germany at 4.7% and the UK at 3%.

Related article: Bots to Surpass All Malware

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