Grum, the world's third largest botnet, distributed an estimate 18 percent of email spam clogging inboxes internationally
Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images.
Good news for your inbox: Internet security teams say they have thwarted the third largest botnet in operation, thought to be the culprit behind some 18 percent of the world’s spam emails.
The BBC reports that security company, FireEye, and spam-tracking service SpamHaus, collaborated with local Internet service providers to track and shut down the four-year-old botnet Grum earlier this week. The takedown sends a clear message to the world’s spammers, Atif Mushtaq, a FireEye security researcher wrote, "We don’t need your cheap Viagra or fake Rolex."
Botnets, Mashable translates, are made up of two elements: "Command and Control servers, which act as a sort of of ‘mothership,’ and bot computers, which are often infected with malware that grants CnC servers access unbeknownst to the user."
The takedown of Grum was a lengthy, global goose chase. On Monday, a Dutch server that was part of Grum was shut down, followed by one in Panama on Tuesday. But, Mushtaq wrote, the bot herders reacted quickly and redirected activity to secondary servers in Ukraine, something of a safe haven for spammers.
Grum was operating using an estimated 121,000 IP addresses. Now, that figure is closer to 20,000, which are largely ineffective now that the CnC servers are shut down.
Will it make much of a difference? Analysts say yes, email junk boxes will probably be emptier as a result. “Keep on dreaming of a junk-free inbox," Mushtaq optimistically wrote.