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Mergers and acquisitions in the botnet world

Mergers and acquisitions in the botnet world

With the growth of the profit motive in recent years, the world of hackers has become more businesslike, with the development of off-the-shelf software packages, professional services, and retail and wholesale markets for goods and resources. Will we be seeing the emergence of mergers and acquisitions?

Probably not yet. Bot-herders still appear to be more interested in hostile takeovers than mergers. But some observers are concerned about the apparent strategic partnership being established by two of the more successful current botnets: Conficker and Waledac.

The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) warned last month that a new variant of the Conficker worm, also known as W32.Downadup, that updated earlier infections via its peer-to-peer network. The most recent variant appears to download additional malicious code onto compromised systems, including copies of the Waledac Trojan, a spam tool. Waledac has previously spread via e-mail containing malicious links.


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