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ISP shutdown latest cat-and-mouse game with hackers
This article is part of the Information Security magazine issue of July/August 2009
Information Security magazine, July-August issue Download the entire July-August issue of Information Security magazine here in PDF format. When the FTC shut down California-based ISP Pricewert in June, it was only a temporary victory for the U.S. government in the war on cybercrime. Still, the action signaled an important notice to cybercriminals around the world: the Feds are watching. The shutdown of Pricewert, also known as 3FN.net and APS Telecom, occurred on June 5 and spam and phishing campaigns dipped for several days, according to several antispam vendors. But while the ISP went dark, disrupting one of the largest and most active spam botnets known as Cutwail, the blow to cybercriminals was short lived at best. Experts say those in control of the command-and-control servers likely had a contingency plan in place, acting quickly to regain control of their zombie computers to resume spamming runs and other more nefarious activities. "What happens is you take out one of the big boys and somebody will take over those ...
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Features in this issue
While the 3FN.Net shutdown had limited impact on cybercriminals, it signaled that the private sector and the government are serious about illegal activity.
Regulatory requirements and economic realities are pressuring enterprises to secure their privileged accounts.
DNSSEC brings PKI to the Domain Name System and prevents dangerous cache poisoning attacks. Implementation difficulties and political battles, however, keep it from going mainstream.
Unified threat management (UTM) appliances offer consolidated security services in a single, manageable firewall/VPN appliance. But purchase and use only the security options you need. Otherwise you will pay too much for the appliance and for tools that won't make your business more secure
Columns in this issue
Security's leading thinkers ask Google to turn on HTTPS by default for Gmail, Docs and Calendar.
Data protection and compliance teams battle for resources but need each other to succeed.