Surge' in hijacked PC networks

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The number of computers hijacked by malicious hackers to send out spam and viruses has grown almost 30% in the last year, according to a survey.

More than six million computers world wide are now part of a "bot network", reported security firm Symantec.

Computer users typically do not know that their PC has been hijacked.

More than a third of all computer attacks in the second half of 2006 originated from PCs in the United States, the threat report said.

While the total number of bot-net PCs rose, the number of servers controlling them dropped by about 25% to 4,700, the twice-yearly report said.

A large number of hijacked computers under the remote control of a single person via net-based command and control system.

Hi-tech crime: A glossary

Symantec researchers said the decrease showed that bot network owners were consolidating to expand their networks, creating a more centralised structure for launching attacks.

Ollie Whitehouse, senior consulting services director at Symantec, said: "This rise in the number of infected computers can certainly be attributed to the rise in the online population of countries like China and Spain, in Europe.



Yellow Belt
Thats a scary thought. I am responsible for our companies local area infastructure and servers so I read this article with great interest.

In our setup we have a hardware firewall / router that only allows pre approved traffic to get to our software firewall / server (running microsoft ISA), the region inbetween the firewalls is called a DMZ. The software firewall inturn filters access to our desktops. With our setup I dont think the bot controller could get to a hacked workstation.
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