Today the FBI announced the completion of Bot Roast II, the second phase of an ongoing investigation into the creation and use of botnets for illegal online activity. Botnets are networks created by remotely controlling several hundred or several thousand compromised computers worldwide. In 2007, botnets have been used by criminals in various ways to make money online. The ongoing investigation, in at least one specific case, is being assisted by the U.S. Secret Service.
Among the results announced today are three new indictments, the guilty pleas from two others, and the sentencing of three others. To date, the … Read more
What good are several million Storm worm infected PCs? According to one researcher, the current computing power of Storm worm's botnet is greater than IBM's Blue Gene supercomputer. "If you calculate pure theoretical throughput," Matt Sergeant, chief antispam technologist with security vendor MessageLabs, "then I'm sure the botnet has more capacity than IBM's Blue Gene. If you sat them down to play chess, the botnet would win."
Remember the Storm Worm, which rapidly swept onto users' computers in January via a bogus e-mail about a real-life, fast-moving European storm front?
Well, security firm SecureWorks released information Thursday noting the size of the botnet has swelled to 1.7 million bots in the months of June and July, up from 2,815 in the first five months of the year.
SecureWorks also notes that while the botnet has primarily been used for spamming, the hacker or hackers in charge of the ever-growing botnet may use its amassed army for more devious activities.
"We don't know the … Read more
The FBI today released a press release summarizing the bureau's efforts so far to shut down botnets. In the release, the FBI acknowledges the work of the CERT Coordination Center at Carnegie Mellon University, Microsoft, and the Botnet Task Force, for either contacting victims or reporting criminal activity. Through an ongoing investigation known as Operation Bot Roast, the bureau has uncovered many botnets, collections of compromised desktop PCs worldwide, that have been used for various criminal activities.
In the release, the bureau cites the recent arrests of James C. Brewer of Arlington, Texas, who is alleged to have operated … Read more
Warning: disturbing a war memorial can provoke all out cyber war--at least in Estonia. On April 27, 2007, Estonia officials relocated the "Bronze Soldier," a Soviet-era war memorial commemorating an unknown Russian who died fighting the Nazis, a move that incited rioting by ethnic Russians and the blockading of the Estonian Embassy in Moscow. It also started a large and sustained distributed denial-of-service attack on several Estonian Web sites, including those of government ministries and the prime minister's Reform Party. A denial-of-service attack (DoS) occurs when someone directs a large number of requests to a target URL; … Read more