Attacks/Breaches
2/18/2011
12:10 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Botnet Victims Increased 654% In 2011

The top 10 botnets are responsible for 57% of all infections, says Damballa report.

Top 10 Security Stories Of 2010
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Top 10 Security Stories Of 2010

The botnet market is both growing and consolidating. The top 10 botnets of 2010 -- based on total number of PCs compromised -- began the year with 22% market share, but grew to account for 57% of all botnet infections by the end of the year. Meanwhile, in the same timeframe, the number of unique botnet victims grew by 654%.

Those findings come from a report, released on Tuesday, by anti-botnet security company Damballa. The report finds a botnet landscape that is changing rapidly, driven in part by the ready availability of inexpensive botnet-building toolkits.

Which botnets rule? The biggest botnets in 2010 (based on their percentage of victims) were the TDLBotnetA botnet run by RudeWarlockMob (15% market share), the RogueAVBotnet run by FreakySpiderCartel (6%), the ZeusBotnetB run by FourLakeRiders (5%), followed by Monkif (5%), Koobface.A (4%), and Conficker.C (3%). That list includes one-off botnets created and customized by criminal gangs, many of whom use DIY tools such as Zeus as the base.

Interestingly, 60% of botnets seen in 2010 didn't even exist in 2009. In fact, "only one botnet -- Monkif -- made it to the top 10 of both years," said Gunter Ollmann, VP of research for Damballa, in a blog post.

In general, what sets apart the botnet winners from losers is that the biggest ones get updated frequently with revised fraud targets. They also embrace the latest botnet features and functionality. That includes updating the malware on infected PCs, running multiple infection campaigns at once, generating one-of-a-kind malware for each victim, and using multiple infection vectors.

Today's top botnet are also succeeding thanks to a thriving ecosystem of best-of-breed, complementary services. "The federated ecosystem of botnet building means that malware authoring, drive-by-download infections, content delivery, and [command-and-control] hosting are increasingly distributed amongst multiple unaffiliated service providers," said Ollmann. "The increased accessibility to specialist service providers has made it easier for botnet operators to rapidly grow their botnets and monetize their ill-gotten gains."

Interestingly, this distributed approach to botnets means that a PC today can be infected with malware that places it under the control of multiple pieces of botnet-driven malware. According to Ollmann, "over 35% of botnet victims were simultaneously members of multiple botnets in 2010."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Must Reads - September 25, 2014
Dark Reading's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of identity and access management. Learn about access control in the age of HTML5, how to improve authentication, why Active Directory is dead, and more.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-6856
Published: 2014-10-02
The AHRAH (aka com.vet2pet.aid219426) application 219426 for Android does not verify X.509 certificates from SSL servers, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof servers and obtain sensitive information via a crafted certificate.

CVE-2014-6857
Published: 2014-10-02
The Car Wallpapers HD (aka com.arab4x4.gallery.app) application 1.3 for Android does not verify X.509 certificates from SSL servers, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof servers and obtain sensitive information via a crafted certificate.

CVE-2014-6858
Published: 2014-10-02
The Mostafa Shemeas (aka com.mostafa.shemeas.website) application 1.0 for Android does not verify X.509 certificates from SSL servers, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof servers and obtain sensitive information via a crafted certificate.

CVE-2014-6859
Published: 2014-10-02
The Daum Maps - Subway (aka net.daum.android.map) application 3.9.1 for Android does not verify X.509 certificates from SSL servers, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof servers and obtain sensitive information via a crafted certificate.

CVE-2014-6860
Published: 2014-10-02
The Trial Tracker (aka com.etcweb.android.trial_tracker) application 1.1.9 for Android does not verify X.509 certificates from SSL servers, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof servers and obtain sensitive information via a crafted certificate.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Chris Hadnagy, who hosts the annual Social Engineering Capture the Flag Contest at DEF CON, will discuss the latest trends attackers are using.