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
Dark Reading Live EVENTS
INsecurity - For the Defenders of Enterprise Security
A Dark Reading Conference
While red team conferences focus primarily on new vulnerabilities and security researchers, INsecurity puts security execution, protection, and operations center stage. The primary speakers will be CISOs and leaders in security defense; the blue team will be the focus.
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: No, no, no! Have a Unix CRON do the pop-up reminders!
Current Issue
Security Vulnerabilities: The Next Wave
Just when you thought it was safe, researchers have unveiled a new round of IT security flaws. Is your enterprise ready?
Flash Poll
[Strategic Security Report] How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Problem
[Strategic Security Report] How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Problem
Enterprises are spending more of their IT budgets on cybersecurity technology. How do your organization's security plans and strategies compare to what others are doing? Here's an in-depth look.
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.