Rogue spambots capable of sending 25,000 messages per hour

Chicago (IL) – A recent study conducted by Marshal8e6 has determined that the insidious Xarvester and Rustock spambots are capable of disseminating over 25,000 messages per hour.

“Over the past few years, botnets have revolutionized the spam industry and pushed spam volumes to epidemic proportions despite the best efforts of law enforcement and the computer security industry. Our intention was to better understand the origins of spam, and the malware that drives it,” explained Phil Hay, senior threat analyst, Marshal8e6 Tracelabs. “Part of this research involves understanding the origins of spam and particularly botnets which are the engines used to distribute most spam today. This helps us develop algorithms and processes which track spam according to the botnet it was sent from.”

Tracelabs obtained its troubling results by deliberately infecting lab computers with a number of nefarious bots, including Xarvester, Mega-D, Gheg, Grum, Donbot, Pushdo, Bobax, Rustock and Waledac. Researchers then analyzed registry alterations, spam quantities and port access logs.

“By sharing our botnet research and highlighting the worst offenders, we hope to provide a resource that will aid other researchers in the fight against spam. One of our objectives over the past few years has been to emphasize the dominant role that a handful of key botnets play in the spam we see today. Ultimately, we wish to focus the wider security community on the key botnets in the hopes that we can collectively pool our efforts to disrupt these botnets and reduce the overall volume of spam in circulation,” added Hay.