BotNets And Spam

As we all know, spam is a major hassle in our inboxes. A major source of these unwanted emails is what is known as a Botnet. A Botnet consists of a wide Network of computers whichj have been compromised by a virus or worm and are used together to do some troublemakers bidding. Once your computer is infected, it can be controlled by a remote server to collect private info off of your PC, or join together with other infected computers to send waves of spam to all your contacts or even create a Denial of Service Attack (DDOS) which uses your PC to send a constant barrage of data at a selected server to flood it and take it down.

In 2009 it was estimated that 90% of all email is spam causing a huge strain on computer networks and hours of lost productivity.

John Leyden at The Register reports on the investigation one of the largest Botnet spammers ever.

FBI investigators have named a 23-year-old Russian as a prime suspect behind the operation of the infamous 500,000 Mega-D botnet, blamed for an estimated one in three spam emails prior to a take-down operation early last year.


Oleg Nikolaenko, a 23-year-old Moscow resident, was accused of violating US anti-spam and fraud laws in a sworn testimony by an FBI agent investigation the case, the Smoking Gun reports.

Webmail records from two Gmail accounts and financial transactions (via the ePassporte service) link Nikolaenko to the operation of the bot net, according to court paper submitted in a grand jury investigation.

The Mega-D zombie network was infamous as a prolific source of counterfeit prescription, herbal remedy and fake Rolex spam. A January 2009 takedown operation mounted by security firm FireEye hit Mega-D very
hard, drastically affecting spam output, which has returned but never to the same noxious levels.