Prolific Spam Network Is Unplugged

Activity from Rustock, one of the world’s most prolific spam email networks, has ground to a halt, apparently thanks to a coordinated effort by Internet service providers and software vendors. The take-down, which took place Wednesday morning Eastern time, happened without fanfare, and surprised many in the tight-knit community of cybersecurity consultants and experts.

Botnets like Rustock use malicious code to string together hundreds of thousands of personal computers that are then used to send spam email without knowledge of their owners. In the case of Rustock, infected computers were managed by a fleet of 26 separate “command and control” servers that sent them instructions.

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