Researchers turn tables on botnet

With access to hacked computers for 10 days, researchers unearth 70 gigabytes of personal and financial dat

Researchers from the University of California gained control over a well-known and powerful network of hacked computers for 10 days, gaining insight into how it steals personal and financial data, according to a report.

The botnet, known as Torpig or Sinowal, is one of the more sophisticated networks that uses hard-to-detect malicious software to infect computers and subsequently harvest data such as e-mail passwords and online banking credentials.

The researchers were able to monitor more than 180,000 hacked computers by exploiting a weakness within the command-and-control network used by the hackers to control the computers. It only worked for 10 days, however, until the hackers updated the command-and-control instructions, according to the researchers' 13-page paper.

To read the full CSOonline report, click here.

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Reader Comments

Thu, May 14, 2009 Joe Wulf Baltimore Md

FYI: The Center for Internet Security in the coming days will be releasing a significantly improved edition of the CIS Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Security Hardening Benchmark.

Thu, May 14, 2009 Dr.Bob Hacker

The term 'Hacker' is an honorific among true computer geeks; please use the term 'Cracker' instead. A Hacker is an experienced USA IT pro (very few left employed) that can deal with the garbage environment of most big US enterprises, like GM or the Fed Gov!

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