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Super Bot hubs, made up of state-of-the-art servers....
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Written by Daniel   
Tuesday, 31 July 2007 09:35

 Open Source Bots
— Rob Enderle is President and Founder of Enderle Group . Special to Dark Reading

JULY 27, 2007 | I just got my first major update on the bot problem and it scared the crap out of me. I hadn’t really thought through just how bad this was getting. I use Postini, and this month I've noticed a scary rise in emails that appeared to be generated from bots and were chewing up a lot of my time. (Either that, or I suddenly have thousands of friends I didn’t know about sending me executable attachment eCards. If that is the case, I need to have a long chat with those friends.)



Part of the briefing, which was provided by Symantec, was a discussion of just how advanced the hubs are that manage these massively increasing numbers of zombie computers. Evidently, the hubs are made up of state-of-the-art servers, often clusters, which showcase some of the most advanced systems management tools and skills in the industry.

Some of the botnet hubs that have been discovered and taken out of service would incite major IT envy – not many IT shops can afford what some of these botmasters can afford and deploy.

Much, if not almost all, of the technology being used appears to be coming from open source resources, and probably the secondary market for hardware (though I understand some are just buying the software on the open market). I don’t think there's anything that can be done about the hardware, but I’m beginning to wonder if certain types of tools shouldn’t be in the open source arena.

One of my problems with open source, Apple, or anything backed by huge advocacy groups is the all-or-nothing mentality in the face of substantial evidence that moderation is really best. Take nuclear technology – if we made it readily available so that all could gain access to it and use it, we likely would have more cheap power. But we would also likely become extinct as a race, either from the resulting pollution or from a group of folks wanting to make a big-bang statement.

Restricting Open Source
It's obviously too late for a lot of platforms, but I wonder if it wouldn’t be wise, going forward, to refrain from open-sourcing products and tools that allow for the management and control of large numbers of servers or workstations. The tools needed to manage these large numbers are needed by a relatively small number of people. And given the potential for corrupt use of these tools, this should remain a small group of people.... more

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