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Rise of the Zombies

Mark Edwards
08-10-2004

What is it about zombies at the moment?



We have a series of zombie movies being released like "Shaun of the Dead", "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" and

others.



We even have millions of zombies attacking our computer networks.



Yes, that is right. Some viruses pave the way for their hacker master to enslave your computer. Your computer then becomes a zombie under the control of someone else.



Symantec estimated that there are at least 30,000 networks of these zombies. Each network is said to average around 2000 machines. This makes an estimated total of 60 million zombie PCs. And these are just the ones that we know about.



If your system security is not up to scratch, you may well have zombies on your office or home. One of our clients did. What led her to become suspicious was that Internet bandwidth usage had

jumped considerably according to her monthly bill, yet usage of the machine remained static.



This machine was part of a zombie network under control of a hacker.



So why would you build one of these networks?



Here are a few reasons why.



o These zombie networks are used to send out spam emails, viruses and phishing emails.



o When all of the zombies in a network are directed to constantly visit a target website, this overloads the lines of communication to that target site. This is known as a Denial Of Service (DOS) attack. Hackers have been known to demand extortion payments from large online firms threatening them with constant DOS attacks if they refuse to pay. This happened recently to Authorize.net. This company handles

credit-card authorizations for more than 100,000 businesses.



o A working network of zombies can be rented out to other malicious users to do any of the above.





As you can see, a zombie network is a useful asset for a hacker.



By ensuring your office and home computers are secure you will avoid being turned into a zombie yourself.



As always, if you don't know how to do this yourself then call me directly and we can help you as we help our clients across Australia.

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