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July/August 2009

ISP shutdown latest cat-and-mouse game with hackers

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 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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