Botnets to get more intelligent in 2010

Criminals behind the huge amounts of spam are learning lessons in how to run their systems.


Next year, botnets will become more intelligent and autonomous, according to research from Symantec.

Paul Wood, senior analyst at MessageLabs Intelligence, said the criminals who operated botnets wanted to maintain their market share without spending too much time working on them.

Previously, operators would have to manually make more bots or make it harder for the computers they did control to be cleaned up, for example, by using rootkits hiding their presence from operating systems or security software.

Symantec has started to see bots having the capability to take care of themselves, before any intervention is required.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

"We've seen social networks and micro-blogging sites being used to host instructions, so the bot will go to that website," Wood said.

"What may appear to be gibberish to a human may have some meaning to a bot."

Lessons have been learned from the McColo server takedown, with criminals re-evaluating and enhancing their command and control backup strategy. This enables recovery to take hours, rather than minutes.

"They've managed to recover in terms of how much spam they're sending out, and in many cases they are sending out more," Wood said.

He also said that CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) breaking tools were increasingly traded on the underground economy.

It means more criminals are able to start creating real accounts to send out spam from webmail, instant messaging and social networking websites.

Featured Resources

Digitally perfecting the supply chain

How new technologies are being leveraged to transform the manufacturing supply chain

Download now

Three keys to maximise application migration and modernisation success

Harness the benefits that modernised applications can offer

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

The 3 approaches of Breach and Attack Simulation technologies

A guide to the nuances of BAS, helping you stay one step ahead of cyber criminals

Download now


internet security

Avast and AVG extensions pulled from Chrome

19 Dec 2019

Google confirms Android cameras can be hijacked to spy on you

20 Nov 2019

Most Popular

Microsoft Windows

What to do if you're still running Windows 7

14 Jan 2020
operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

13 Jan 2020
Microsoft Windows

Memes and Viking funerals: The internet reacts to the death of Windows 7

14 Jan 2020
web browser

What is HTTP error 503 and how do you fix it?

7 Jan 2020