Computer Crime Research Center


Is your PC a zombie? [Computers hijacked by hackers]

Date: October 31, 2007
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: Andy Greenberg

The greatest threat to global cyber security today, according to Internet Security Systems researcher Josh Corman, may be your mother's computer.

Or more precisely, the collected computers of all the world's mothers. Along with millions of other out-of-date and unsecured PCs strung together by the Internet--what Corman calls "the leper colony"--those machines represent a combined mass of computing power responsible for most of the Net's spam e-mails, much of its click fraud, and the vicious "denial of service" attacks that can knock sites offline and even destroy online businesses altogether.
In Pictures: Your PC Might Be A Zombie If ...

Since the beginning of the decade, cybercriminals have increasingly used malicious software to hijack unwitting PCs, turning about 20% of the world's computers into "zombies" that can be controlled and collected by the thousands into subservient criminal armies, according to research by security firm Trend Micro. Now, that zombie software is becoming more infectious and sophisticated: One strain in particular, the so-called "Storm worm," has enslaved between 15 and 50 million PCs, by security researchers' estimates. To make matters worse, Storm's zombies don't moan or drool blood, like their human-shaped counterparts. These digital undead, security researchers say, work in practically undetectable silence.
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2007-11-02 16:54:03 - The answer to this problem is the... Coenraad de Beer
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