Ghosts, Goblins and..Botnets?

by Michael on November 1st, 2006 in Industry and Security News, Security Alerts.

In the spirit of Halloween, it's the perfect time to share with you some truly spooky information.

Ghosts and goblins may just be myths, but zombies have become a real threat, at least in computer terms.

Botnets are collections of infected, zombie computers that are controlled autonomously by attackers to send spam remotely, install more spyware without consent, or for criminal purposes.

A recent study claimed that more than 12 million computers worldwide are compromised by botnets. An industry analyst took the stats a step further, relating that botnet operators are controlling populations as large as mid-sized countries (even bigger than the home of Lavasofts headquarters, Sweden!).

Other reports are saying that cyber criminals are working on assembling the biggest botnet seen in over two years, with a total that's already close to a million PCs. While no one knows the exact intent of this massive botnet, the speculation is that it will be used for a "massive onslaught of phishing aimed at defrauding web consumers in the run up to Christmas."

Another seasonal malware threat that has been reported to be lurking online is a Halloween "typo-attack." Cyber criminals have been creating links to web pages that host malware and spyware by taking advantage of increased searches for Halloween related content.

Our intent, of course, isn't merely to give you a Halloween-style scare. Being informed on the latest security threats means that you are better equipped to protect yourself.