Unemployed Spammers Targeting Your PC

The Rustock botnet exploded onto the scene years ago, cramming one million hijacked PCs with nearly one billion spam messages daily.


We all need pills—some on a have-to basis, some on a want to, some occasionally.

This makes pharmaceuticals BIG business and Rustock took advantage by specializing in sending out spam to offer fake pills.

The hijacked PCs were sent regular updates using custom written encryption; downloads held the spam engine that spread the ads for the phony pills.

These creepy crawlers hid under the covers ‘cause they were clever and controlled. Victims were sucked in when they hit a website loaded with bogus ads and links.

Some of these updates pretended to be comments on a message board. This made it tough for security software to sort them out.

Another way of staying under the radar was to keep all the servers controlling Rustock in Middle America. Don’t put any in major cities, nothing overseas.

Yes indeed, the spam was rollin’ out and the dough was rollin’ in until…

Microsoft, Pfizer, FireEye and others joined forces and went after the spam monster.

In his years of investigation, Alex Lanstein, senior engineer at FireEye, discovered that Rustock was more controlled by not going the franchise route like Zeus and other spam networks.

He declared that the character of the code inside the Rustock malware, the way this mega network operated, suggested to him it was run by a small team.

“It does not look like there were more than a couple of people running it to me,” he said.


Hard drives from the servers were given to a forensic firm to scan for clues about the identity of the network’s controllers.

The FireEye engineer also revealed that $10,000 per month went for hosting costs for the Command and Control system. Yet he couldn’t estimate how much the operators of Rustock made. Only that the amount was likely to be huge.

There it is. Trying to manage the greed is what brought Rustock down.

Technical steps taken by Microsoft could put the skids at any attempt by Rustock to regain control of their network. After all, who wants the full legal power of Microsoft on their heels?

Yet, they’re still out there and everyone knows…

Once someone has tasted POWER it’s nearly impossible to give it up.

May Your Glass Always Be Half Full

is a suspense romance thriller.
You can read Chapter Five at:


About Maxi

Hi … I'm Maxi, a retiree with an addiction. I have quit: raising kids, cleaning house, cooking, doing laundry—there is no end the list—everything is done on "have to." The addiction? Writing to my last breath. blessings ~ maxi
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