Risk
10/14/2008
09:09 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

Demise Of Storm Botnet Clears Way For More Nimble Botnets

A number of security researchers now say the infamous Storm botnet, which has been quiet for about a month, could very well be dead. Some are saying the era of big botnets may be over.

A number of security researchers now say the infamous Storm botnet, which has been quiet for about a month, could very well be dead. Some are saying the era of big botnets may be over.Not that they'll be missed.

According to this story which ran in Dark Reading today, Paul Royal, director of research for anti-botnet security vendor Damballa, says "This is the end of the really gigantic botnet as we know it."

Don't declare "Mission Accomplished" anytime soon, though. We've witnessed a similar progression, should Royal be correct in his prediction, before. Viruses like the LoveBug that tore through e-mail servers in 2000, or worms such as SQL Slammer and Blaster, are largely a relic of the past. Sure, we may see another big worm or virus outbreak, but the trend is toward quieter, stealthier Trojans and spyware.

You see, it's tough to turn a profit if everyone knows you've infected them.

Security researchers say the same could now be true of botnets:

Even if turns out that this lull was merely the quiet before a Storm surge, it's unlikely that even a reinvented Storm -- now at about 47,000 infected machines, according to Damballa -- would ever operate at the massive size it once was, at close to a half-million bots at its peak in early January. This is likely the end of the era of massive botnets, and the beginning of a new generation of smaller, more targeted botnets, says Paul Royal, director of research for Damballa.

While it may be good riddance to the Storm botnet, down to less than 50,000 infected systems from its once 500,000 infected systems to do its spam spreading bidding, it's not the end of botnets. They'll just be smaller, more clandestine, and highly targeted.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Five Things Every Business Executive Should Know About Cybersecurity
Don't get lost in security's technical minutiae - a clearer picture of what's at stake can help align business imperatives with technology execution.
Flash Poll
Dark Reading Strategic Security Report: The Impact of Enterprise Data Breaches
Dark Reading Strategic Security Report: The Impact of Enterprise Data Breaches
Social engineering, ransomware, and other sophisticated exploits are leading to new IT security compromises every day. Dark Reading's 2016 Strategic Security Survey polled 300 IT and security professionals to get information on breach incidents, the fallout they caused, and how recent events are shaping preparations for inevitable attacks in the coming year. Download this report to get a look at data from the survey and to find out what a breach might mean for your organization.
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7445
Published: 2015-10-15
The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem in the Linux kernel through 4.x mishandles requests for Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) objects, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via an application that processes graphics data, as demonstrated b...

CVE-2015-4948
Published: 2015-10-15
netstat in IBM AIX 5.3, 6.1, and 7.1 and VIOS 2.2.x, when a fibre channel adapter is used, allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-5660
Published: 2015-10-15
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in eXtplorer before 2.1.8 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests that execute PHP code.

CVE-2015-6003
Published: 2015-10-15
Directory traversal vulnerability in QNAP QTS before 4.1.4 build 0910 and 4.2.x before 4.2.0 RC2 build 0910, when AFP is enabled, allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files by leveraging access to an OS X (1) user or (2) guest account.

CVE-2015-6333
Published: 2015-10-15
Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) 1.1j allows local users to gain privileges via vectors involving addition of an SSH key, aka Bug ID CSCuw46076.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Security researchers are finding that there's a growing market for the vulnerabilities they discover and persistent conundrum as to the right way to disclose them. Dark Reading editors will speak to experts -- Veracode CTO and co-founder Chris Wysopal and HackerOne co-founder and CTO Alex Rice -- about bug bounties and the expanding market for zero-day security vulnerabilities.