1.9m malware-infected computers 'controlled by cybercriminals' claim
A network of 1.9m malware-infected computers has been identified by web gateway vendor Finjan’s Malicious Code Research Center (MCRC). Corporate, government, and consumer computers around the world were infected by the malware, the company claims.
A network of 1.9m malware-infected computers has been identified by web gateway vendor Finjan’s Malicious Code Research Center (MCRC). Corporate, government and consumer computers around the world were infected by the malware, the company claims.
This discovery is part of a research conducted by MCRC when investigating command and control servers operated by cyber-criminals. The cybercrime server is hosted in the UK, and has been in use since February 2009, controlled by a team of six operators. These gang established a vast affiliation network across the Web to successfully distribute and operate their malware install-base, and have compromised computers in 77 government-owned domains (.gov) from the UK, US, and other countries.
The malware is remotely controlled by the cybercriminals, enabling them to instruct the malware to execute almost any command on the end-user computer as they see fit, such as: reading emails, copying files, recording keystrokes, sending spam, and capturing screenshots. Since the discovery of its findings, Finjan says that it has provided UK and US law enforcement with information about the server. Finjan has also contacted affected corporate and government agencies to let them know that they were part of the infected computer names.
The research also revealed that the malware is installed on computers when visiting compromised websites serving malicious code. Information found by MCRC on the command and control server includes the IP addresses of the infected computers as well as the computers’ name inside corporate and government networks that are running the malware.
Finjan found the malware is infecting computers running the Windows XP operating system, and using the following Web browsers:
- Internet Explorer – 78 per cent
- Firefox – 15 per cent
- Opera – 3 per cent
- Safari – 1 per cent
- Other browsers – 3 per cent
Global spread of infected computers in percentages:
- US – 45 per cent
- UK – 6 per cent
- Canada – 4 per cent
- Germany – 4 per cent
- France – 3 per cent
- Other countries – 38 per cent