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Net criminals shun virus attacks
Written by Daniel   
Sunday, 22 July 2007 13:19

Net criminals shun virus attacks
By Mark Ward,
Technology Correspondent, BBC News website

Windows PCs are favoured by hi-tech criminals
Hi-tech criminals have found novel ways to carry out web-based attacks that are much harder to spot and stop, warn security experts.
Some cyber criminals have exploited file-sharing networks and popular webpages to attack targets.
The malicious hackers have turned to these methods instead of going to the trouble of hijacking home PCs.
Using these methods the hi-tech criminals have staged some of the biggest attacks security experts have
ever seen.


Attack pattern
For some time the tool of choice for hi-tech criminals has been a botnets of hijacked home PCs.
Botnets are collections of computers under the remote control of a hi-tech criminal.
Botnets are used to relay junk e-mail or spam and as a resource to mine for saleable information such as logins or credit card numbers

Many botnets are also used to attack other computers in denial of service attacks which try to overwhelm the target server with huge amounts of data.
Computers, usually Windows machines, get enrolled in a botnet when their owners open an e-mail bearing a virus or visit a booby-trapped webpage.
But, said Paul Sop, chief technology officer of security firm Prolexic, some creative criminals have found a way to mount denial of service attacks without hijacking any PCs.
One attack seen by Prolexic in May exploited a popular peer-to-peer or file-sharing network.
Many file-sharing systems use hubs or servers that point people to the right place to download the movies, music and other media they are interested in.... More

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