Botnets in the News
Friday, March 5, 2010
We get inundated with questions from people wondering where Spam emails originate from. A huge amount of Spam originates from botnets. Botnets is a term used to describe a collection of bots or web robots which run on their own and automatically on people's computers, typically without people being aware they are running. Botnets are capable of sending massive amounts of Spam, stealing password and login information, and retrieving credit card numbers.
More recently botnets have become extremely sophisticated and have infiltrated several Fortune 1000 company networks, government and private networks, and banks. Botnets are capable of sending out millions of pieces of email every day. According to a recent cnet article titled, "Botnets cause surge in February spam", spam now accounts for 90% of all worldwide email.
The good news about botnets, if any, is that some are being taken down as law enforcement and researchers are aggressively working to track down originating sources. From an article appearing today in InformationWeek, the "Mariposa" botnet has been dismantled and the alleged people orchestrating the botnet have been arrested. For details, see the InformationWeek article "Another Botnet Gets Dismantled, But This Time With Arrests".