Remote control wars

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Remote control wars

Monitoring an illicit Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channel recently, Nicholas Albright couldn’t believe what he was seeing. First, he observed a network operator sending commands to install keyloggers on thousands of compromised, remote-controlled computers. Then, all this private data started flying over the channel — HIPAA-protected medical information, financial account numbers, usernames and passwords.

Botnets, or remote-controlled networks of compromised computers, are usually more carefully concealed than that, says Andre DiMino, a volunteer at the botnet takedown group,, founded by Albright 18 months ago. At the very least, DiMino says, bot operators (called "herders") ...

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