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Bots Gone Wild: Handful Of Botnets Run A Million Machines

How many botnets does it take to grab a million computers and use them to send out billions (and billions and billions) of spams a day? Less than a dozen, according to one security expert.

Keith Ferrell

April 10, 2008

1 Min Read

How many botnets does it take to grab a million computers and use them to send out billions (and billions and billions) of spams a day? Less than a dozen, according to one security expert.In a presentation made at the RSA security conference in San Francisco this week, SecureWorks malware expert Joe Stewart ran down a list of the top spam generating botnets.

It wasn't a long list.

According to Stewart, 11 botnets are running more than a million hijacked computers worldwide, and are in aggregate capable of sending out 100 billion (that's billion with a B) pieces of spam a day.

The current top botnet, Srizbi (you try to say it -- but don't try it while eating peanut butter) alone can send out 60 billion spams a day from the third of a million or so computers it controls.

Not good -- and not likely to get better unless those million computer users get better at guarding against their machines' zombie-fication.

And we all know how likely that is.

Here's bMighty's take on how to take on botnets and beat them at their malicious game.

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