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04 January 2012, 10:06

Chat logs reveal the operator of a major botnet

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A security blogger has published information about the suspected lead hacker behind the Cutwail botnet. Using various chat logs, security specialist Brian Krebs managed to establish the name, phone number and other personal data of the suspected botnet operator who goes by the name of "Google". Previously, Russian investigators had seized the computer belonging to one of the spammer's business partners and found extensive chat logs that appeared on the net soon afterwards.

Krebs says that the logs of chat sessions with a founder of the "SpamIt" spam network indicate that "Google" held about a dozen accounts on this network. With these accounts, the spammer allegedly collected around $175,000 in commissions for sending out pharmaceutical spam through his botnet. "Google" is suspected of having made even more money by renting out his botnet to other spammers who use SpamIt.

According to current statistics compiled by US security firm M86 Security, Cutwail and its affiliates are responsible for approximately 22 per cent of the daily global spam volume. However, SpamIt lost its top market position after hackers intruded into the system and disclosed the names of its customers and affiliates.


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