Such zombie networks
are created through a partnership of email spammers and software virus writers, says Marc Borbas, product manager for Sophos, a British-based company specializing in anti-virus and email protection.
As a side business Ancheta is also alleged to have sold access to the zombie network
to spammers, who used the third party computers to launch spare campaigns.
They argued that a new generation of cybercrime prevention laws would require citizens, organizations, and companies to identify and obtain the tools necessary to prevent cybercrime, to install these tools and keep them updated, and to use them in an effective manner to prevent identity theft, anonymous email relaying, and the expansion of zombie networks
of infected computers.
Spam remains, however, the most common reason that zombie networks
are set up.
Experts at SophosLabs[TM], Sophos have reminded organizations of the threat posed by zombie networks
after a teenager was accused of being at the center of an international cybercrime network.
Users need to become more responsible and respectful of others, ISPs have to do what they can to avoid problems like zombie networks
, and providers of content have to maintain network neutrality so there aren't faster, premium pipelines developed and owned by proprietary concerns.
Sophos experts suggest that users' computers are likely to have been taken over by hackers to create zombie networks
or "bot-nets", in order to bombard the internet's Domain Name System (DNS) servers with traffic.
These "zombie networks
", also called "botnets", and can link 100,000 home computers without their owners' knowledge.
The report describes a number of cases where remote malicious users have moved away from 'stealth use' of infected computers, such as stealing personal data or using computers as part of zombie networks
, to direct blackmailing of victims.This is done in two ways - by encrypting data or by corrupting system information and then demanded a ransom for its return to the victim.
But there has been a resurgence of phishing attacks due to a rise of zombie networks
being used to pump out volumes of scam e-mails.
A spokesperson for CA said that it has seen a trend over the past 18 months towards the creation of zombie networks
and slave machines in order to create further attacks against the Internet and it is warning users to be extra vigilant.