Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

11/20/2008
11:38 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

Hundreds Of Thousands Of Bots Lay Dormant

According to a story that ran in our sister site, DarkReading.com, 500,000 bots from a recently severed botnet army may now lay dormant, awaiting their next set of orders.

According to a story that ran in our sister site, DarkReading.com, 500,000 bots from a recently severed botnet army may now lay dormant, awaiting their next set of orders.This news follows last week's sudden fall of the McColo hosting service, credited to Brian Krebs, security reporter for The Washington Post, who said at the time that the McColo hosting service could have been responsible for 75% of the spam circulating the Internet.

Now that the master network has been crushed, DarkReading's Kelly Jackson Higgins asks: what's now going on with all of those dislocated bots that had previously been used to generate all of that spam:

Researchers have spotted these errant bots over the past week attempting to phone home to their former command and control (C&C) servers. While the industry continues to celebrate a nearly 70% nosedive (albeit temporary) in spam volume without McColo to host the world's biggest spamming botnets anymore, these orphaned bots are still at risk -- and possibly still spewing spam, security experts say.

"They are probably already infected with multiple things. You hardly ever find just one bot on these computers," says Joe Stewart, director of malware research for SecureWorks. "You may find three or four different spam bots on the same machine. And who knows what else -- password stealers and other rogue ware."

Stewart is no doubt correct. The systems acting as a home to these bots are most likely infected with numerous types of malware. If history is any indication, either the previous owner of the bot network will regain control, or others will start trying to highjack as many of those bots as they can for their own networks.

It should be interesting to see how this shakes out in the coming weeks.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
News
Inside the Ransomware Campaigns Targeting Exchange Servers
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  4/2/2021
Commentary
Beyond MITRE ATT&CK: The Case for a New Cyber Kill Chain
Rik Turner, Principal Analyst, Infrastructure Solutions, Omdia,  3/30/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-20491
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-16
IBM Spectrum Protect Server 7.1 and 8.1 is subject to a stack-based buffer overflow caused by improper bounds checking during the parsing of commands. By issuing such a command with an improper parameter, an authorized administrator could overflow a buffer and cause the server to crash. IBM X-Force ...
CVE-2021-22539
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-16
An attacker can place a crafted JSON config file into the project folder pointing to a custom executable. VScode-bazel allows the workspace path to lint *.bzl files to be set via this config file. As such the attacker is able to execute any executable on the system through vscode-bazel. We recommend...
CVE-2021-31414
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-16
The unofficial vscode-rpm-spec extension before 0.3.2 for Visual Studio Code allows remote code execution via a crafted workspace configuration.
CVE-2021-26073
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-16
Broken Authentication in Atlassian Connect Express (ACE) from version 3.0.2 before version 6.6.0: Atlassian Connect Express is a Node.js package for building Atlassian Connect apps. Authentication between Atlassian products and the Atlassian Connect Express app occurs with a server-to-server JWT or ...
CVE-2021-26074
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-16
Broken Authentication in Atlassian Connect Spring Boot (ACSB) from version 1.1.0 before version 2.1.3: Atlassian Connect Spring Boot is a Java Spring Boot package for building Atlassian Connect apps. Authentication between Atlassian products and the Atlassian Connect Spring Boot app occurs with a se...