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Symantec Intelligence

2011 Trends: Botnets Evolve with Steganography

Created: 02 Dec 2010
Daren Lewis's picture
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On December 7 we will release our MessageLabs Intelligence 2010 Annual Security Report looking back at the changes in the threat landscape during 2010. We also use the opportunity to look ahead at potential trends for next year. In the days leading up to the publication of the report we will share a few of these trends.

Botnets Evolve with Steganography
Since the McColo ISP takedown in November 2008, which removed the command and control servers used by cyber crooks to control the activities of their botnets, and wiped out many cybercrime operation, the cybercriminals have been looking to build business continuity practices into their operations.

In 2011, we expect that botnet controllers will resort to employing steganography techniques to control their computers. This means hiding their commands in plain view – perhaps within images or music files distributed through file sharing or social networking websites. This approach will allow criminals to surreptitiously issue instructions to their botnets without relying on an ISP to host their infrastructure and minimizing the chances of discovery.

Tomorrow: Rogue Marketplace Vendors Exploit Online Digital Currencies

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