BBC builds 22,000 system botnet

Powered by SC Magazine
 

A team of journalists and security experts from the BBC said that it has managed to purchase itself a botnet containing more than 22,000 infected PCs.

A team of journalists and security experts from the BBC said that it has managed to purchase itself a botnet containing more than 22,000 infected PCs.

The network was constructed as part of an investigation into cybercrime by the television programme Click. The network said that it obtained access to the infected systems by purchasing information from cybercriminals in chat rooms.

After assembling the botnet, the researchers tested it out by ordering the infected machines to spam a pair of test e-mail accounts. A denial of service attack was also performed on a test website .

The network said that the botnet has since been disabled and the infected users have all been notified by the BBC and provided with security tips to prevent further infection.

The rise of botnets has been well documented and observed by security experts in recent years.

Massive botnets such as Storm controlled hundreds of thousands of infected machines at their peak and were used not only by their builders, but also leased out to other cycbercriminals for spam runs and online attacks.

While the BBC's botnet was modest in comparison to those infections, experts say that the experiment was still dangerous, and possibly illegal.

"This is clearly an unauthorised modification of computer data, and is, to my mind, a breach of the Computer Misuse Act," wrote Sophos senior security consultant Graham Cluley.

"The law says you can't mess around with other people's computers without authorisation. The BBC and PrevX did not have the permission of the computer users to send those spam mesages."

"Sending spam from someone else's computer obviously gobbles up bandwidth and will use up system resources. Even if the BBC felt the impact would be minimal, it doesn't make it right."

The BBC plans to air the segment on the March 14 episode of Click.

Copyright ©v3.co.uk


 
 
 
Top Stories
Content, cost & constant innovation: How Foxtel plans to take on Netflix
Nell Payne inhabits the “brave new world of blue strings and networking”. Just don't ask her to put a TV screen on your microwave.
 
Sending in the drones
Margins are getting tighter in the industrial services industry, so Transfield Services' Stephen Phillips looks offshore - and to the skies - for the solutions he needs to keep pace.
 
Westpac fires starting pistol on core banking upgrade
St George readies itself for move to Celeriti.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest Comments
Polls
Should Optus make a bid for iiNet?

   |   View results
Yes
  43%
 
No
  57%
TOTAL VOTES: 530

Vote