Dodgy ISP McColo briefly comes online, updates botnet
When it went offline, analysts found that spam levels dropped by up to 75%
IDG News Service - An ISP associated with online crime and child pornography briefly came back online over the weekend before being cut off again, according to security vendors.
After complaints, TeliaSonera quickly moved to cut off McColo again, Thomas wrote. But the brief renewal in connectivity did allow cybercriminals running botnets out of McColo's networks to take steps to preserve their operations.
McColo has been identified as hosting the command-and-control servers for no less than five large botnets that are responsible for the majority of the world's spam. When McColo dropped offline, analysts found that spam levels dropped up to 75%.
Spam takes a heavy toll on IT infrastructure, consuming bandwidth and potentially exposing users to malicious software.
When McColo came back online, it appeared that the hackers who controlled the command-and-control servers for a botnet called Rustock moved the controls for that botnet to a data center in Russia, according to the blog for security vendor FireEye.
"We believe that the Rustock controllers don't expect McColo to be very stable in the near future, so they are hedging their bets and moving the C&Cs to a different provider," according to FireEye.
PCs infected with malicious software that enables them to be part of the Rustock botnet were also at least partially updated. The update would allow the computers to report to the new Russian command-and-control server to receive orders.
Since McColo was online for only a short period, "there's no way that the whole botnet was updated, but no doubt they got a good-sized piece," FireEye said.
Security analysts have predicted that spam levels will rise again as hackers who used McColo move their operations to other ISPs that are willing to protect spammers and other criminal enterprises, such as those who sells bogus security software or pharmaceuticals.
"Rustock is estimated to be capable of sending 30 billion spams per day," Thomas wrote. "How big an increase we'll see depends largely on the number of zombie PCs the botnet's controller was able to reach during McColo's temporary resurrection."
- Massive botnet returns from the dead, starts spamming
- Spam levels fluctuate as crooks try to revive botnets
- Spam is silenced, but where are the feds?
- Dodgy ISP McColo briefly comes online, updates botnet
- McColo shutdown forces botnets to relocate
- Hosting firm takedown bags 500,000 bots
- Spam plummets after Calif. hosting service shuttered
- McColo takedown: Internet vigilantism or online Neighborhood Watch?
- IT Blogwatch: McColo is McShut McDown
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Cybersecurity Imperatives Reinvent Your Network Security With Palo Alto Networks The Rise of CyberSecurity
- 10 Things Your Next Firewall Must do Next-Generation Firewalls Defined
- Firewall Buyers Guide Operate as the core of your network security infrastructure
- Getting Started With a Zero Trust Approach to Network Security The Traditional Approach to Network Security is Failing. View Now>>
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Endpoint Backup & Restore: Protect Everyone, Everywhere Arek Sokol from the bleeding-edge IT team at Genentech/Roche explains how he leverages cross-platform enterprise endpoint backup in the public cloud as part...
- Streamline Software Asset Management, Compose a software Management Symphony Keeping track of your organization's software is easy with effective software management solutions from CDW. View the videos in our software solutions channel
- Druva inSync: Endpoint Data Protection & Governance CLICK HERE to watch this video about protecting corporate data on laptops and mobile devices, sponsored by Druva. All Security White Papers | Webcasts