Microsoft's machines hijacked by spammers

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Oct 14, 2010

Servers also used for DoS attack on security journalist's site.

More than a thousand websites pushing spamvertised pharmaceuticals have been found to be using name servers on hacked machines in Microsoft's IP space.

Spammers and malware writers have a habit of hiding as well as they can and operating using hacked computers is a common way of doing so. However, when security researchers looked into the name servers associated with 1,025 domains that were selling various kinds of pharmaceuticals, they were surprised to see that these servers ran on IP addresses owned by Microsoft.

The unusual location of the apparently compromised machines led to some speculations, including one that the machines may have been part of a honey pot, but a spokesman for the computer giant blamed it on human error. Two lab machines were misconfigured, which led to them being compromised. The spokesman said that no customer data has been compromised and no production systems have been been affected, and that the compromised machines have been removed from the network.

While being controlled by the crooks, the machines also played an important role in a failed denial-of-service attack on the website of security journalist Brian Krebs. Shortly before the attack took place, Krebs had written about websites selling stolen credit cards. It is not hard to guess that the gang behind these sites weren't pleased with Krebs' revelations.

More can be found on The Register here and here and on Brian Krebs' blog here.

How sure are you that none of your organisation's machines are controlled by criminals? Register now for the VB Seminar and learn from industry experts about the current risks and how to deal with them.

Posted on 14 October 2010 by Virus Bulletin

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