Security company shuts down massive spam botnet

Aug 6, 2012 14:15:04Posted by John Skorick, MyAKA Founder & CEO

Security company shuts down massive spam botnet

Security officials recently announced that the botnet known as Grum has been shut down. According to BBC News, security company FireEye and spam-tracking service SpamHaus teamed up to terminate the network, which was based in Panama, Russia and the Netherlands. Grum, the third-largest botnet, was responsible for roughly 18 percent of online spam content across the world, reports.

"Grum's takedown resulted from the efforts of many individuals," Atif Mushtaq, a security researcher with FireEye, wrote on the company's blog. "This collaboration is sending a strong message to all the spammers: Stop sending us spam. We don't need your cheap Viagra or fake Rolex."

According to Mashable, botnets are made up of two different elements, the Command and Control (CnC) servers and bot computers. The CnC servers are basically the home base of the scams, and the bot computers are filled with malware that give the CnC servers access to a person's computer without the user knowing.

The process to shut these servers down took a couple of days. First to go was a Dutch server, but this only caused a small impact. The Panamanian server was taken out the following day, but the Russian servers were still up. Russia has a reputation for being a safe haven for these servers. However, with the help of local personnel, the security teams were able to shut down the Russian servers as well, according to the media outlet.

"There are no longer any safe havens," Mushtaq wrote on the blog. "Most of the spam botnets that used to keep their CnCs in the USA and Europe have moved to countries like Panama, Russia, and Ukraine thinking that no one can touch them in these comfort zones."