Botnets: Perpetrators of Crimeware

A botnet refers to a network of bots or zombie computers used widely for malicious criminal activities like spamming, distributed denial of service attacks and/or FakeAV. A botnet links to command and control centers, enabling a bot master (controller) to make updates and add new components.

Bot History

Botnets have always been malicious and are continuously evolving to keep ahead of technology and the threat landscape. Botnets originated from the IRC world, where there was already legitimate IRC software called bots which was used to automate certain chat behaviors (like managing chat rooms, etc.). Given where it originated, the term bot was reatained as a descriptor for these new malicious creations. The first malicious bots did nasty things with the peculiarity that their Command & Control center was an IRC server and their communication method was via Internet Relay Chat. The very first botnets were seen around 2001.

In 2002 and 2003, we were introduced to generic SDBOT and RBOT variants. The technology used in these early variants developed, and in 2005 and 2006, they began to wreak havoc in the computing world, staging distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. DDoS attacks can temporarily knock down a particular website.

In 2005, Microsoft released Security Bulletin (MS05-039) to combat a bot attack that affected many of its product users. This paved the way for what we now call vulnerability exploitation, where cybercriminals exploit vulnerabilities before software developers can release patches. Cyber criminals normally compile, integrate and pack exploit codes which are distributed by bots.

Read more at TrendLabs

Why Internet connections are fastest in South Korea

By John D. Sutter, CNN March 31, 2010 11:00 p.m. EDT

(CNN) — People in the United States basically invented the Internet. So U.S. connections must be the fastest and cheapest in the world, right?

Not so much.

Broadband Internet speeds in the United States are only about one-fourth as fast as those in South Korea, the world leader, according to the Internet monitoring firm Akamai.

And, as if to add insult to injury, U.S. Internet connections are more expensive than those in South Korea, too.

The slower connection here in the U.S. costs about $45.50 per month on average, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In South Korea, the much-faster hookup costs $17 per month less. An average broadband bill there runs about $28.50.

So why is U.S. Internet so much slower and pricier than broadband connections in South Korea? The question is timely, as the U.S. government pushes forward with a “broadband plan” that aims to speed up connections, reduce costs and increase access to the Internet, especially in rural areas.

Read more at CNNTech

Episode #003 of Certification Weekly airs at 8pm (Eastern Time)

Episode #003 of Certification Weekly Streams tonight at 8:00pm EST

At 8:00pm EST go to  to have access to the stream of “Certification Weekly by CED Solutions” hosted by Mia Holtzman and Chris Pope!

Don’t forget to listen for the contest! Check out the contest page for details!


Posted by Justin in Secure Data CentersSecuring the Cloud Mar 25th, 2010

Cloud computing and mobile devices have revolutionized our personal and professional lives. These innovations have unlocked a new age of elasticity and mobility. Along with this digital revolution, an unexpected transformation is taking place at the heart of server workloads and mobile devices.

We are witnessing the decline of the general purpose operating system.

The once static datacenter has transformed into a highly agile virtual datacenter, and is once again transforming thanks to cloud computing. First generation migrations to cloud, using IaaS, are facing tough competition from PaaS frameworks designed to take advantage of the rapid elasticity and scalability the cloud model provides.

A similar change is taking place with client devices. The once ubiquitous laptop is being supplanted by highly specialized and proprietary devices like Smart phones, iPads and Netbooks running Google’s Chrome OS. As these devices become more capable, the need for a general purpose Operating Systems like Windows or Mac OSX fades.

Read more at Trend Micro’s Cloud Security blog

What’s Up Interactive Launches New Web Site for ADI

Atlanta interactive marketing agency What’s Up Interactive has launched a newly designed Web site for performance management consulting firm ADI,

The new site features a flash carousel and rotating homepage messaging that encompasses the capabilities and solutions offered by the firm, which focuses on helping its clients accelerate business performance through positive, practical approaches grounded in the science of behavior.

The site is designed to be an easy-to-navigate experience for those looking to improve their business or their personal effectiveness. The site’s case studies, media center, and Insights section offer articles, case studies, and blog posts on topics that are top of mind and critical for business success. What’s Up also launched Aubrey Daniels’ personal blog last year, and has produced a series of videos and podcasts with Daniels himself.


FCC begins rollout of national broadband policies

By Cecilia Kang | March 31, 2010; 3:19 PM ET

FCC begins rollout of national broadband policies

Roll up your sleeves. Now the hard work begins.

The Federal Communications Commission will begin the long process of creating regulations out of its national broadband plan, starting with a half-dozen policy inquiries and proposed rules to be announced at its April 21 meeting.

Of the dozens of recommendations offered to Congress on March 17, they’ve decided to start with: USF reform, mobile data roaming, set-top-box reform and cybersecurity. The agency has said it would roll out more than 40 policy proposals from its plan.

That includes a proposal to reform the Universal Service Fund, a phone service subsidy. The proposal will add broadband services to the $8 billion annual fund.

Read more at the Washington Post’s Post Tech blog

YouTube’s big redesign goes live to everyone

by Josh Lowensohn March 31, 2010 10:13 AM PDT

SAN BRUNO, Calif.–YouTube is rolling out a new coat of paint on Wednesday.

Its video page redesign, which went up as a beta test to users in late January, will be going out live to everyone by the end of the day. The cleaner look is part of a bigger plan to simplify the site based on user feedback and testing, as well as to keep people from ever leaving.

In a “blogger breakfast” press event at the YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, Calif., YouTube UI designer Julian Frumar explained that the site was simply not working like it should with the addition of extra features over the years. There were too many things on the screen that were slowing down page views and overwhelming people. In other words, YouTube was getting bloated.

The other part of the problem was that YouTube had two distinct groups of users. Those who wanted a simple, video-centric experience, versus those who wanted the “airplane cockpit” of links, buttons, and knobs. The new look is an attempt to satisfy both groups, while tweaking the overall look to make the pages less overwhelming to newbies.


AiR-#013 – Apptastic iGame Review – 3/31/10 with, Produced by: Chris Pope

AiR-3/31/10 Reviews: TurboCamera, FML Official Vortex, Horoscopes and Tarot, Happy Hour, Portal Soundboard
Chicks Picks with Bonnie Frankum

Reviews: TurboCamera, FML Official Vortex, Horoscopes and Tarot, Happy Hour, Portal SoundboardChicks Picks with Bonnie Frankum