Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Hackers Grow Armies of Zombie PCs

Filed under
Security

Attackers are becoming increasingly aggressive as they look to grow their zombie armies of infected PCs, according to antivirus vendor McAfee. This week, the company reported that the number of systems infected with malicious software that allows the PC to be used for unauthorized purposes jumped by 303 percent during the second quarter of 2005 from the previous quarter.

Whereas high-profile attacks such as the MyDoom worm in 2004 generally left no doubt as to whether the user's system was infected, attackers are now using more subtle techniques, often invisibly seizing control of a machine with tiny programs called "bots" that await instructions from their creators, according to Vincent Gullotto, vice president of McAfee's Anti-virus and Vulnerability Emergency Response Team.

These bots allow the infected machine, sometimes called a "zombie," to be used for a variety of illegal purposes, such as sending spam or participating in a denial of service attack against a Web site, Gullotto says. "You're not hearing about a major outbreak every month, but people are not aware that there has become a much more subversive way that virus writers are spreading around the Internet," he says.

On the Increase

Researchers with Gullotto's team recorded nearly 13,000 cases of attempted bot hijackings, up from about 3000 during the first quarter of 2005. The company also reported that the number of adware and spyware programs was up 12 percent when compared to the first quarter of 2005.

Though McAfee says that all sorts of criminals are now involved in hacking, the company has noticed that money, rather than fame or notoriety, has increasingly been a motivating factor in attacks.

Rather than crashing users' systems or sending out huge quantities of e-mail, attackers are using malicious software such as the Mytob worm to install adware on personal computers. And organized criminals are emerging as a new and increasingly effective source of sophisticated attacks, Gullotto says. "There's a whole new ballgame that's being played."

By Robert McMillan
IDG News Service

More in Tux Machines

Testing Fedora 21 fitness for world population with Internationalization

Fedora is a global Linux distribution, as soon as we say the word “Global”, immediately internationalization (i18n) and localization(l10n) become a utmost important part of the distribution. Read more

Ondemand vs. Performance CPU Governing For AMD FX CPUs On Linux 3.17

In the tests shared yesterday of looking at the AMD FX-9590 CPU on Linux and other CPU benchmarks from this weekend, some Phoronix readers raised concerns about the CPU scaling governor differences between the AMD and Intel hardware. The AMD FX CPUs continue to use the CPUfreq driver by default to handle their scaling while modern Intel CPUs have the new Intel P-State driver. Beyond the Intel-specific P-State vs. CPUfreq, the AMD CPUs generally default to using the "ondemand" governor while with Intel desktop CPUs on P-State it generally ends up with the "performance" mode. Some Phoronix readers found performance vs. ondemand differences to be unfair, but for AMD FX CPUs, there isn't much of a difference in our common CPU torture test benchmarks found in the Phoronix Test Suite. Read more

Google Sends Invites for September 15 India Event; Android One Launch Likely

Google has sent invitations for an event in India on September 15. While the invite itself says "More details closer to the date!", it is expected that the much-awaited Android One smartphones will make their debut at the event. Android One was announced back in June at Google I/O with India's Karbonn, Micromax, and Spice the confirmed launch partners, though more Indian companies have reportedly joined the list since then. Read more

SHIRTS AND METHODS TO IDENTIFY THE PLAYERS - NFL JERSEYS

The jersey inside outwards, observe the situation embroidery section. Genuine jerseys are embroidered was "Z" shaped, embroidered on shirts, very smooth, in-house embroidery almost no sense of touch. Cheap nfl jerseys from china. The fakes are tight with the line directly to the number sewn on clothes.

Cheap nfl jerseys wholesale. Genuine Hawks player version jersey. Careful observation will find clothes with black "Z" shaped seams on clothes, that this line will be connected to the number and shirts, can make the wearer feel very comfortable, there will be uneven sense!

Finally, I want to make a comparison between true and false jersey, we want to want to buy a shirt to help a friend. Want to buy legal copies of NFL jerseys in the country is quite difficult. Domestic NFL licensed should be small. I discovered two years ago have sold Packers and bengals jerseys offset printing adults at a Reebok store in Xiamen. The price is very expensive, like the shelves soon after never seen. Now search for Taobao, filled with many counterfeit NFL jerseys player version. Cheap jerseys free shipping. Most of these jerseys rough work, by a number of embroidery, the workmanship is very sick.