Computer Crime Research Center


How zombie networks fuel cybercrime

Date: December 05, 2004
By: Celeste Biever

In June, the websites of Google, Yahoo and Microsoft disappeared for hours when their servers were swamped with hundreds of thousands of simultaneous webpage requests that they could not possibly service. It sounds a tough attack to orchestrate, but executing it could not have been simpler.

A hacker kicked off the assault by typing a simple command into an internet chat room. That command awakened dormant software “bots” that had been planted in tens of thousands of PCs around the world with the help of computer viruses.

When the bots read the command in an internet chat room they were monitoring, they began firing a blizzard of page requests at the servers hosting the company sites. Result: the servers effectively got tongue-tied trying to service the requests, and had to go offline until the attack ceased.

This modus operandi is fuelling a growing crime wave against e-commerce in which these networks of bots, dubbed botnets, are increasingly being offered for hire by hacking groups.

Want to take down a commercial rival’s website? Or how about spamming, perhaps sending out letters “phishing” for people’s passwords and bank account details? And gambling sites that need a continuous web presence to make money are a favourite target for botnet-based blackmail.
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2005-09-02 03:28:29 - Good blog Gergana
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