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Zombie PCs Being Sent To Steal IDs ! - 3/14/2005 10:46:01 PM   

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Bot nets, collections of compromised computers controlled by a single person or group, have become more pervasive and increasingly focused on identity theft and installing spyware, according to a Honeynet Project report.

The report, released on Monday, summarizes the findings of researchers who have tapped into more than 100 different bot nets since last summer. Some of the networks were made up of more than 50,000 computers, said the Honeynet Project, a security group that sets up heavily monitored systems, or honeypots, and allows them to be attacked.

While many of the networks had been used to hit other bot nets with denial-of-service attacks, others had been used to gather sensitive identity information and install adware and spyware, a practice that is increasing, said Thorsten Holz, a computer science research student at RWTH Aachen University of Technology in Germany and the primary author of the paper.

"Our research shows that some attackers are highly skilled and organized, potentially belonging to some well-organized crime structures," Holz, a member of the Honeynet Project, wrote in the paper. "Even in unskilled hands, it should be obvious that bot nets are a loaded and powerful weapon."
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Source : CNET News
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