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Spam Botnet Taken Over By Good Guys: Now What?

By Ryan Naraine Print this article Print

Security researchers seize control of one of the world's largest spam-spewing botnets, but there is disagreement about what should happen next.

Researchers at TippingPoint Technologies' Digital Vaccine Laboratories have found a way to infiltrate and seize control of one of the world's largest spam-spewing botnets, a breakthrough that has ignited an intense debate over the ethics of "cleaning" infected computers.

Cody Pierce and Pedram Amini, two high-profile software security researchers, cracked into the Trojan powering Kraken—a 400,000-strong botnet of infected computers—by reverse-engineering the encryption routines and figuring out the communication structure between the botnet owner and the hijacked computers.

Once they got a clear understanding of the inner workings of Kraken, the duo found that the infected computers were trying to connect to a master C&C (command and control) server by systematically generating subdomains from various dynamic DNS (Domain Name System) resolver services.

Read the full article at eWEEK: Kraken Botnet Infiltration Triggers Ethics Debate

This article was originally published on 2008-05-02
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