Monday, May 04, 2009

Botnet Probe Turns Up 70GB of Personal, Financial Data

Jeremy Kirk writes on ComputerWorld:

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.

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.

Still, that was enough of a window to see the data-collecting power of Torpig/Sinowal. In that short time, about 70GB of data were collected from hacked computers.

More here.


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