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, September 16, 2014
Malicious software is morphing to be more targeted, stealthy, and destructive. Are you prepared to stop it?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-2886
Published: 2014-09-18
GKSu 2.0.2, when sudo-mode is not enabled, uses " (double quote) characters in a gksu-run-helper argument, which allows attackers to execute arbitrary commands in certain situations involving an untrusted substring within this argument, as demonstrated by an untrusted filename encountered during ins...

CVE-2014-4352
Published: 2014-09-18
Address Book in Apple iOS before 8 relies on the hardware UID for its encryption key, which makes it easier for physically proximate attackers to obtain sensitive information by obtaining this UID.

CVE-2014-4353
Published: 2014-09-18
Race condition in iMessage in Apple iOS before 8 allows attackers to obtain sensitive information by leveraging the presence of an attachment after the deletion of its parent (1) iMessage or (2) MMS.

CVE-2014-4354
Published: 2014-09-18
Apple iOS before 8 enables Bluetooth during all upgrade actions, which makes it easier for remote attackers to bypass intended access restrictions via a Bluetooth session.

CVE-2014-4356
Published: 2014-09-18
Apple iOS before 8 does not follow the intended configuration setting for text-message preview on the lock screen, which allows physically proximate attackers to obtain sensitive information by reading this screen.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio