Security Bites 103: Capitalizing on botnets

IronPort's Pat Peterson joins Robert Vamosi this week to talk about how online criminals make money using botnets.

IronPort's Pat Peterson joins Robert Vamosi this week to talk about how online criminals make money using botnets.


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How do online criminals make money off of botnets? Previously, we've explored how parts of the Storm worm botnet may have been rented out to others. No matter who owns the botnet, the traffic is usually the same: spam. But what kind of spam?

IronPort Systems, a divison of Cisco, released a report this week (registration required) that identified some of the specific spam messages being used. Not surprising is the pharmaceutical spam. But criminals are also luring unsuspecting individuals with various "work from home" scams. People who fall for this are told to buy expensive products in the United States for delivery overseas. For their effort, they'll receive a percentage of the purchase price. These "money mules," as they are called, are actually cashing out stolen credit cards for foreign criminals.

CNET's Robert Vamosi spoke via phone with Pat Peterson, who is vice president of technology at IronPort.

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About the author

    As CNET's former resident security expert, Robert Vamosi has been interviewed on the BBC, CNN, MSNBC, and other outlets to share his knowledge about the latest online threats and to offer advice on personal and corporate security.

     

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