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Botnet 'pandemic' threatens internet
Brett_Tabke




msg:3232297
 1:45 am on Jan 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

[business.scotsman.com...]

...millions of personal computers threaten the internet's future, experts have warned at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Up to a quarter of computers on the net may be used by cyber criminals in so-called "botnets", according to Vint Cerf, one of the internet's founders.

Cerf is one of the co-developers of the TCP/IP standard underling all internet traffic. He likened the spread of botnets to a pandemic.


 

incrediBILL




msg:3238889
 10:33 pm on Jan 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

Most effective is switching off your PC when not in use

I don't think so...

MY PC's in various forms have been online 24/7 since 1980 and the only time I was ever infected was the one and only time I lost my mind and clicked on something in an email, even when I knew it smelled bad. Reloaded Windows, was back online clean within 2 hours, never had a problem since.

If the AV people were involved with viruses after all these years it would eventually hit the fan, the FTC and/or Attorney Generals would step in an those people would be in jail.

I don't think all AV's are equally good, but most of them protect you from most of the junk which is good enough most of the time, if you're lucky. It's not worse than being vaccinated by the doctor and still catching a different strain, only so much you can protect yourself against.

However, I find it hard to believe 1 in 4 machines are infected as I have several machines here, all clean, my wife's IT dept. keeps their network clean, even my 70 something mom keeps her machine clean. Can you believe at her age she's up on AV, Spyware, and Adware? Scans the machine and keeps it clean as heck, go figure, age obviously isn't the issue.

gregbo




msg:3239027
 12:44 am on Feb 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

MY PC's in various forms have been online 24/7 since 1980 and the only time I was ever infected was the one and only time I lost my mind and clicked on something in an email, even when I knew it smelled bad. Reloaded Windows, was back online clean within 2 hours, never had a problem since.

People such as yourself constitute a tiny minority of Internet users. Most people aren't at all vigilant about security. They buy PCs preloaded with AV tools, etc., but don't enable them (because they don't know how or even why they should). Worse, they click on phishing emails, load untrusted third-party software onto their machines, etc. Thus, their computers become breeding grounds for all sorts of fraudulent activity.

If the AV people were involved with viruses after all these years it would eventually hit the fan, the FTC and/or Attorney Generals would step in an those people would be in jail.

As with other things discussed here (such as click fraud), how would we know? There's really nothing stopping anyone working for an AV company from operating a botnet or some other fraud generation tool. If it's not operated from corporate resources, who would be able to associate it with them? As security experts, they are perfectly capable of covering their tracks.

gregbo




msg:3239033
 12:54 am on Feb 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

Most effective is switching off your PC when not in use

Assuming the system is infected (but the user does not know this), it limits the spread of infection (assuming the user isn't transmitting malware, etc. in other ways, e.g. via portable media). This is also something even the most naive users can be trained to do, because they are used to switching the TV or radio off.

wilderness




msg:3239050
 1:19 am on Feb 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

There was a time from 1996-1999 in which I took the time to resolve worm/virus issues for participants of my widegets subscription/discssion list.

It became very tiresome assiting the same fools repeatedly that would not implement or even learn precautionar measures.

My resolution was two send the following at least twice a week, for more than two years.

"I don't care if the mail comes from God, Jesus, Jehovah, Allah, Buddha, your dead Grandma or your long lost lover!
DON'T OPEN UNSOLICITED FILE ATTACHMENTS in emails."

In more than 10-years of heavy internet activity, I've never used AV software. I have installed and tested different softwares' however they were almost immediately removed.

I do relaize that I'm an ecxeption and that it's best for most users to utilize AV software.

One two occassions in the 10-year-period did I contrac something.
One instance, I changed both computers and OS in the same day, a worm was contracted on one of the first emails and the computer was shut down immediately (most folks just don't pay attention to what their computer does).

In Sept of 2006, I was chasing website log referrals, while still using IE (however with many options turned off, one which was Java).
I went to the referal and my screen began filling with icons.
Disconnected my internet connection immediately and Shut the computer down.
Bye Bue IE.
Hello Fire Fox.

incrediBILL




msg:3245924
 2:11 am on Feb 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I stumbled across this group called Shadowserver which has some raw numbers on active botnets and other statistics.

[shadowserver.org...]

Take a look around, very interesting stuff.

claus




msg:3245942
 2:40 am on Feb 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

a quarter of computers on the net may be used by cyber criminals in so-called "botnets"

That would be if you include Mr Cerfs new colleagues at Google Corp. ;)

claus




msg:3247134
 3:02 am on Feb 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Added:

Apparently, at Davos they also discussed some silly 3D chat web site with only about 3 million users worldwide. Some of what I hear from that Davos forum is so incredibly stupid it hurts - especially considering that some of the people there are taking pretty complicated decisions on a daily basis.

That an employeee of the world's greatest botnet warns agains "unauthorized competition" is plain stupid. but it's also a convenient smokescreen. The greatest danger to (independent) internet (infrastructure) today is Google. Plain and simple.

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