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Re: Microsoft Hunts For Zombie Spammers

__/ [Roy Culley] on Saturday 29 October 2005 10:21 \__

>     Microsoft is investigating 13 spam operations as part of a call to
>     action against zombies, which are compromised computers used
>     without their owners' permission to send spam, launch
>     denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, and spread worms and viruses.
>     ...
>     Earlier this year, Cranton said, Microsoft set up a "clean" PC,
>     then infected it with malicious code commonly used by attackers to
>     turn a computer into a zombie. Researchers then monitored the PC's
>     use of the Internet for 20 days, and tallied the number of
>     messages sent through it.
>     "In those 20 days, this one computer received 5 million connection
>     requests from spammers, and sent 18 million spam messages," said
>     Cranton.
> I presume MS used the usual method of infecting the PC. Simply
> connecting it to the Internet for a few minutes. :-)

Before looking at the recent messages in COLA, I hastily posted my own on a
similar topic. In all replies to parent, I think an important point is
missed. E-mail spam is /neither/ the main nor the dangerous use of such

These zombies are used to wreak referrer spam havoc. Moreover, they are
pointed at heavy, resource-intensive pages that, given a large number of
zombies, would bring a site down. On the worst among all days of the month,
these zombies demanded what would potentially be 50GB of
generated-on-the-fly page content. I currently use many filters to avoid the
attacks from crippling my Web host's server or collapsing it. Microsoft's
response is too slow and idiotic. They go for the spammers because they
cannot force all users to permit patch installation.


Roy S. Schestowitz      | Useful fact: close elevator button = Express Mode
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