13 June 2016

Spam and Malware Network Goes Offline

One of the most prolific spam and malware networks - known as "Necurs" appears to have gone offline making a huge dent in the amount of junk people receive.

The reason it has suddenly slowed down and then ultimately stopped isn't clear at all but there's a clear indication that the volume of junk has - at least for now slowed. It would though be a bit premature to suggest that it won't come back - others have done, nor would it be likely that the era of malware is over - more botnets and maliciously controlled botnet systems appear all the time.

The Necurs botnet is widely reported to have around 6 million compromised computers (eg those infected with the components that make the machine participate in the botnet system) and security companies say that they're seeing systems that are compromised looking for a new "command" system to log in to in order to resume "business as usual" but with no sign of this happening so far.

Right now then, if you think your spam and malware piles have dried up - be thankful, but don't expect it to last.

We still recommend you:

(a) Have a good Anti-Virus program - and yes this does include on Mac computers - whilst still a much smaller issue, the tide has changed recently and there is more evidence of the Apple controlled platform becoming a new playground for those who write this stuff.

(b) Don't open attachments, ever, from people you do not know, or that you're not expecting an e-mail for. Be ultra sceptical. This is by far the easiest way you'll get infected.

(c) Don't run in "super user", "administrator" or "root" modes - always run under a restricted user - yes it does mean you'll need to enter an administrator password a little more often but it hugely reduces your chances of being compromised.

(d) Make sure you have proper backups - no really. Make sure you have proper backups. See some of our other blogs for more on this topic but we can't stress enough how important it is!

If it's all too late and you're already infected, we suggest you give our team a call for some professional assistance - once you've been infected with one type of malware the odds are you'll end up with more - even without doing anything, so taking action to make sure your computer is properly cleared is absolutely advisable.

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