Simon’s Backup Weblog

Botnet wars…

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on August 18, 2005

It looks like the recent outbreak of near zero-day attacks on Windows 2000 systems has degenerated into a bot war between different gangs of system hijackers.

This time it isn’t about who can compromise the most machines – it’s, as they say, all about the benjamins. Spammers and phishers hire botnets to send their mails, while extortionists use them to run DDOS attacks. Apparently it costs only $350 to hire a network of 5,500 compromised systems…

One thought: if the price is so low because there are so many infected machines out there, then monitoring the market prices for botnets will be a good indicator of how well security systems are working. The less machines infected, the higher the price…

There’s also an interesting SFnal thought here. I’ve been playing with the idea that fast burn singularities are inherently unstable – especially once they’ve built computronium Matrioshka brains around their home stars. While I’ve speculated that this instability is due to light speed lag leading to wars over computational resources, there’s a possibility in massive (and literal!) identity theft…


5 Responses to 'Botnet wars…'

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  1. quercus said,

    Isn’t there a slightly terrifying dissonance here for any article that can include both “computronium Matrioshka brains around home stars” and Windows botnets.

    Windows is the world’s leading operating system ™
    And it’s crap.

    Windows has had more time and effort thrown at it than Apollo and it’s still so flakey that mall-rat skiddies are pimping CNN’s desktops to the Elbonian mafia on a regular basis. This is the equivalent of building the pyramids from beautifully piled damp sand because the infinite reconfigurability of DesktopSandWidgets is so much more fashionable than that boring old stone and the team of freshly-whipped stoneadmins needed to keep it moving.

    “computronium Matrioshka brains” ? We’re going to be lucky if we still 0wn our own toasters by the end of the decade.

  2. sbisson said,

    I have a strangely warped mind.

    Probably from drinking vast amounts of Jolt in ‘s flat in Watford in the early 90s.

  3. andrewducker said,

    It _is_ crap. If only Macs weren’t more expensive and tightly controlled.

  4. andrewducker said,

    You’d hope that there’d be less identity theft when the network _is_ the mind.

    I’d like to think that if an external connection claimed that it had rights over my forebrain, I’d notice :->

  5. marypcb said,

    security folks are telling me mat the shift from hacker cracker to cracker-criminal has been gaining speed in the last 18 months

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