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Attacks/Breaches

Anti-Spam Group Under Attack

Spammers launch denial of service exploit against Spamhaus

Spamhaus, one of the leading spam monitoring Websites, is currently under denial of service attacks that have rendered it unavailable.

The attacks, which began last Wednesday, are being carried out by the same people responsible for last year's DOS attack on BlueSecurity, using the Storm malware, according to Steve Linford, founder of the volunteer Spamhaus Project, which tracks spammers and their content.

"The attack method was sufficiently different to previous DDoS attacks on us [in] that some of it got through our normal anti-DDoS defenses and halted our Web servers," Linford said in an email.

Two of the best-known spam blocking lists -- the URI Black List are also under attack and are currently unavailable.

Linford reported on Thursday that the attacks were "ongoing," but that Spamhaus had gotten them under control and that the site was up and running. However, as of 9 a.m. this morning, Spamhaus, SURBL, and URIBL were all unavailable.

Storm is "nightmare" botnet malware, capable of taking out government facilities "and causing much mayhem on the Internet," Linford said. "It has 3 functions: sending spam, fast-flux Web and DNS hosting mainly for stock scams, and DDoS." (See Storm Worm Attacking Blogs, Bulletin Boards & Webmail, New Storm Worm Outbreak Blasting the Internet, and Storm Outbreak: Building a Bigger, Better Botnet.)

A "hefty" international effort has begun to trace the perpetrators, teaming cyber-forensics experts at law enforcement agencies and private-sector botnet and malware analysts, Linford said.

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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