Hosting firm takedown bags 500,000 bots

The shutdown last week of a US-based Web hosting company crippled more than 500,000 bots, or compromised computers, which no longer are able to receive commands from criminals, a security researcher said Tuesday.Although the infected PCs are still operational, the previously-planted malware that tells them what to do cannot receive instructions because of the shutdown last week of McColo Corp.”Half a million bots are either offline or not communicating” with their command-and-control servers, estimated Joe Stewart, director of malware research at SecureWorks. Trickle Out as Spammer Networks Remain Compromised
At about 4:30 p.m. Eastern time last Tuesday, the volume of junk e-mail arriving at inboxes around the world suddenly plummeted by about 65 percent. Confronted with information that one Silicon Valley computer firm was hosting organizations that controlled the distribution of much of the world’s spam, Internet service providers pulled the plug and McColo Corp., the hosting firm, went dark.By most accounts, the volume of spam has remained at far diminished levels, though experts say they expect spam to soon bounce back, or even exceed previous levels. But the question remains: How could such a massive concentration of spam activity be hosted for so long by servers at a single U.S.-based facility, in the belly of the security and tech community in Silicon Valley?

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