July 6, 2011

Rustock purged from half of zombie machines

by Jan Harris

Rustock malware has now been removed from more than half of the 1.6 million machines hijacked by the botnet at its peak. Richard Boscovich, a senior attorney with Microsoft’s Digital Crime Unit, reported in a blog post that the number of Windows PCs infected with Rustock malware was just over 700,000 as of June 18. […]




July 1, 2011

Kaspersky Labs discovers ‘indestructible’ botnet

by Jan Harris

Security company Kaspersky Labs has discovered a highly-sophisticated botnet which has infected more than 4.5 million computers in just three months. Called “TDL-4,” the botnet hides from anti-virus software, withstands attempts to remove it from infected machines, and deletes other malware that might compete with it, including the Gbot worm and the ZeuS Trojan. It […]




June 1, 2011

Cyber crime slowing says McAfee

by Jan Harris

In its latest threat report, security firm McAfee reported that the efforts of the police and security companies to combat cyber crime are starting to pay off. The report mentions several successful police raids which have taken down botnets and uncovered fraud and money laundering operations. This has been made possible by improved communication and […]




March 25, 2011

Small team responsible for Rustock

by Jan Harris

Following Microsoft’s successful operation to shutdown Rustock, the hard drives used in the spam network are being analysed for clues which could help identify the criminals behind the notorious botnet. Microsoft managed to cut the links between the compromised computers in the botnet and the servers that controlled them by carrying out simultaneous raids on […]




March 17, 2011

Rustock silent – for now

by Jan Harris

The notorious Rustock botnet has gone quiet again, just as it did over Christmas, according to security blogger Bryan Krebs. As a result spam volumes have fallen for now, but Rustock’s Christmas lull only lasted into early January, after which its spam campaign quickly returned to normal levels, so it remains to be seen if […]




March 9, 2011

EU calls for co-operation to combat botnets

by Jan Harris

EU cyber security agency ENISA has released a report highlighting the need for global co-operation to fight botnet-related cyber crime. A recent report by Damballa found that the number of botnet victims increased seven-fold last year compared with 2009 and botnets are expanding, both in size and in the sophistication of their attacks. ENISA is […]




January 14, 2011

Spam levels rise after Christmas lull

by Jan Harris

Spam levels plummeted over Christmas and into January but predictions that this was a temporary respite have proved true. Between 25 December and 9 January activity from major botnets, including Rustock, Lethic and Xarvester fell to negligible levels, but the botnets are now waking up again. MessageLabs Intelligence recorded a 98 per cent increase in […]




August 6, 2010

Botnet server taken down

by Jan Harris

An Eastern European command-and-control server for a new Zeus 2.0 botnet, discovered this week by security firm Trusteer, has now been taken down, according to zdnet.co.uk. The botnet targeted customers of UK banks, stealing financial details including credit and debit card numbers, online banking log-ins and bank statements. ZDNet cites a senior Metropolitan Police source […]




July 2, 2010

Malware aimed at UK banking customers

by Darren Allan

A new threat has emerged in the form of two botnets which are threatening online banking users in the UK. The malware is specifically targeted at UK banks and customers so as not to raise its profile on a global scale. In this way, it’s more likely to remain undetected as a major threat by […]