Mega-D, Rustock and Srizbi

December 5th, 2008 | Sources: Washington Post

Subjects:

In the mid-afternoon East coast time 10 days ago, the source of 65% of the world’s junk email was silenced in the blink of an eye.

But all that spam will return to an inbox near you somehow, some way, soon. If it hasn’t already that is.

A single computer firm—in Silicon Valley of all places—had up to that moment hosted computers that controlled distribution of more than half the spam on the planet.

But when security experts proved their case against the Internet hosting firm McColo Corporation to its 2 Internet service providers, they pulled the plug and the jig was up.

McColo hasn’t been charged with a crime by the way, and it likely never will.

All McColo does after all, is assign Internet addresses to the computers of its clients. McColo claims it had no idea these ‘computers’ were actually master servers that controlled gigantic networks of personal computers infected by malware which had reduced them to spam-producing drones.

These so-called botnets can contain hundreds of thousands of PCs. The big ones get names like Mega-D, Rustock and Srizbi from anti-virus companies. Spammers rent them, log on remotely and command them to send emails selling drugs, designer clothing knock-offs, sex toys and so on.

Security experts told the Washington Post that when the lights went out at McColo, the world’s 3 largest computer drone armies instantly lost their heads.

But few believe the change is permanent. The criminals who control those botnets will find a way to bring them back.


 

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