Parasitic botnet spams 60 billion a day

Srizbi sends 50 percent of spam

The Srizbi botnet has stormed over its competition to become the Internet's biggest spammer.

Researchers claim the botnet is responsible for 50 percent of all spam, and is the biggest of its kind in history.

Its 300,000 zombie computers are being worked hard. The much larger Storm Worm required about 500,000 nodes - with some figures even suggesting anywhere between 1 million to 50 million -- to deliver 30 percent of global spam.

Joe Stewart, director at US consultancy Secure Works, said the Srizbi Trojan is the biggest botnet in history and the most powerful. He said Srizbi, aka "Cbeplay" and "Exchanger", can blast out 60 billion messages a day.

Storm is now in a tea cup after its spam output was cut down to a mere 2 percent, due to widespread media coverage which kicked off a race by security vendors to squash the threat.

Trojan.Srizbi is one of the first full-kernel pieces of malware, according to Symantec. It hides itself as a rootkit and operates completely within the kernel, without any interaction in user mode.

The Trojan is rumoured to contain code capable of uninstalling competing rootkits.

Marshall vice president of products, Bradley Anstis, said the Srizbi botnet has grown quickly to overtake the rival Mega-D botnet since the start of the year.

"Srizbi is the single greatest spam threat we have ever seen. Srizbi now produces more spam than all the other botnets combined," Anstis said.

"As Mega-D went offline, Srizbi stepped in to fill the gap and hasn't looked back since."

Mega-D rose quickly to prominence earlier this year after security researchers reported the Viagra-spruiking botnet had topped Storm's peak spam output by 30 percent.

"It is probable the [Mega-D] spammers got spooked and decided to lay low for a while, security researchers were close to discovering their control servers when the plug was pulled," Anstis said.

"Typically the spammers like the 'low and slow' approach; building their botnet up over time and trying to stay under the radar to avoid detection. It is an intriguing chain of events that."

The Rustock botnet has taken the second spot as the most notorious spammer, Mega-D third, followed by Hacktool.Spammer, Pushdo and Storm. Marshall estimates about 15 percent of spam is from other sources.

Srizbi has been documented spruiking watches, pens and of course Viagra.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Darren Pauli

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?