SRI’s attempt to fight Storm

Computer scientists of SRI International based in Menlo Park, California, have developed a program that is meant to deal with botnets, especially those belonging to Storm, the nature of which is still not clear: some say it is a Worm, other say it's a Trojan. Whatever the case, Storm has produced the biggest botnet since earlier in the decade.

A botnet is a network of computers, all of them infected by malware (in this case – Storm), to take part in illicit schemes without the user's knowledge or consent. These schemes may range from particularly damaging ones to seemingly harmless, such as Storm's mass-mailing.

A single 'bot' infected by Storm typically sends out around 28,000 spam emails a day, thus hoping to make its botnet even larger. Even though Storm has been harmless up until now, the size of the botnet doesn't allow not taking it seriously, because should it's tactics change, in laymans terms, all hell would break loose.

What makes Storm so difficult to track and dispose of, is the fact that its creators have managed to hide the internet server, or “Mother ship” as some like to call it, so the usuall method of tracing commands back to the server and ultimately taking it off, is futile.

SRI provides a different way of dealing with these threats, which is to find infected computers. The program is free, but its effectiveness is arguable: sure it will take care of Storm in separate cases, but the issue will remain on the larger scale and the botnet will probably continue growing.

Another problem is that the tool is not intended for users who get their internet from ISPs such as AT&T and Comcast, it will be up to them to download it.


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