Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Viral Gang Warfare

From RedTape Chronicles:

The bot network industry has become so profitable, and hijacked computers
so valuable, that rival gangs are now fighting over them. This digital gang
warfare is not physically violent, but it certainly is no game. Bot herders
steal each other's infected computers, fight off such raids, and often try to
knock each other’s computers off-line. "They are cutthroat and competitive. They
are in it to make a lot of money.... These guys are ruthless to begin with and
don’t care who they hurt, as long as they get their dollars," said Jose Nazario,
a security researcher at Arbor Networks.

The war has escalated to a level where bot herders must jealously guard
their hijacked computers. In October, a yet-to-be-named Russian gang released a
program called SpamThru that infected machines worldwide and quickly amassed an
army of zombies nearly 100,000 strong, capable of sending out 1 billion messages
each day.

To protect the investment, the malicious program actually included a stolen
copy of the Kaspersky antivirus program, modified to stop all attacks but its
own. SpamThru installed the anti-virus program on all infected computers,
removing all other viruses. It even sent an infection rate report to the
program’s author. The stolen antivirus software continues to defend SpamThru
bots from other attacks to this day.
Technologies are platforms (horizontal) for interiority/value system to make decisions up and down the Spiral. Creepy stuff.


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