Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Symantec and Microsoft Tackle Click Fraud Botnet

Symantec and Microsoft Tackle Click Fraud Botnet

Symantec and Microsoft have joined forces to successfully tackle the Bamital botnet, which helped cyber gangs steal more than US$1.1 million annually.

Symantec has been tracking this botnet since late 2009 and recently partnered with Microsoft to identify and shut down all known components vital to the botnet's operation.

Bamital is a malware family whose primary purpose is to hijack search engine results, redirecting clicks to an attacker controlled command-and-control (C&C) server. The C&C server redirects the results to websites of the attackers' choosing.

Bamital also has the ability to click on advertisements without user interaction. This results in poor user experience when using search engines along with an increased risk of further malware infections.

The malware’s origin can be tracked back to late 2009 and has evolved through multiple variations over the past couple of years. Bamital has primarily propagated through drive-by-downloads and maliciously modified files in peer-to-peer (P2P) networks.

From analysis of a single Bamital C&C server over a six-week period in 2011 we were able to identify more than 1.8 million unique IP addresses communicating with the server, and an average of three million clicks being hijacked on a daily basis.

Recent information from the botnet shows the number of requests reaching the C&C server to be well over one million per day.

Clickfraud, the name used for the type of fraud committed by Bamital, is the process of a human or automated script emulating online user behaviour and clicking on online advertisements for monetary gain.

Bamital redirected end users to ads and content which they did not intend to visit. It also generated non-human initiated traffic on ads and websites with the intention of getting paid by ad networks.

Bamital was also responsible for redirecting users to websites peddling malware under the guise of legitimate software. The following video illustrates how Bamital exploits the online advertising model: http://www.symantec.com/tv/allvideos/details.jsp?vid=2142222223001&subcategory=security_response&pid=1

Bamital is just one of many botnets that utilise clickfraud for monetary gain and to foster other cybercrime activities. Many of the attackers behind these schemes feel they are low risk as many users are unaware that their computers are being used for these activities.

This takedown sends a message to those attackers that these clickfraud operations are being monitored and can be taken offline.

For further details on Bamital's activities you can download a copy of our whitepaper.

Details on recovering from a Bamital infection are available here: http://www.norton.com/bamital. Users of up-to-date Symantec security products are protected against Bamital and its variants.

Symantec Security Response would like to acknowledge Spain's Civil Guardia, Catalunyan CERT (CESICAT), and Microsoft for assisting us in understanding and ultimately bringing this botnet to its demise.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Half Empty: Fonterra's 2017 Opening Forecast Below Expectations

Fonterra Cooperative Group raised its forecast farmgate milk payout for next season by less than expected as the world's largest dairy exporter predicts lower prices will crimp production and supply will pick up. The New Zealand dollar fell. More>>

ALSO:

Pest Control: Mouse Blitz Team Leaves For Antipodes

The Million Dollar Mouse project to rid Antipodes Island of mice is underway with the departure of a rodent eradication team to the remote nature reserve and World Heritage Area. More>>

Gongs Got: Canon Media Awards & NZ Radio Awards Happen

Radio NZ: RNZ website The Wireless, which is co-funded by NZ On Air, was named best website, while Toby Manhire and Toby Morris won the best opinion general writing section for their weekly column on rnz.co.nz and Tess McClure won the best junior feature writer section. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Budget: Debt Focus Risks Losing Opportunity To Stoke Economy

The Treasury is likely to upgrade its forecasts for economic growth in Budget 2016 next week but Finance Minister Bill English has already signalled that more of his focus is on debt repayment than on fiscal stimulus or tax cuts... More>>

ALSO:

Fulton Hogan's Heroes: Managing Director Nick Miller Resigns

Fulton Hogan managing director Nick Miller will leave the privately owned construction company after seven years in charge. The Dunedin-based company has kicked off a search for a replacement, and Miller will stay on at the helm until March next year, or until a successor has been appointed and a transition period completed. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Electricity, Executions, And Bob Dylan

The Electricity Authority has unveiled the final version of its pricing plan for electricity transmission. This will change the way transmission prices (which comprise about 10% of the average power bill) are computed, and will add hundreds of dollars a year to power bills for many ordinary consumers. More>>

ALSO:

Half Empty: Fonterra NZ, Australia Milk Collection Drops In Season

Fonterra Cooperative Group says milk collection is down in New Zealand and Australia, its two largest markets, in the first 11 months of the season during a period of weak dairy prices. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news