Old botnets dead; new botnets coming

From Joel Hruska’s “Meet Son of Storm, Srizbi 2.0: next-gen botnets come online” (Ars Technica: 15 January 2009):

First the good news: SecureWorks reports that Storm is dead, Bobax/Kraken is moribund, and both Srizbi and Rustock were heavily damaged by the McColo takedown; Srizbi is now all but silent, while Rustock remains viable. That’s three significant botnets taken out and one damaged in a single year; cue (genuine) applause.

The bad news kicks in further down the page with a fresh list of botnets what need to be watched. Rustock and Mega-D (also known as Ozdok) are still alive and kicking, while newcomers Xarvester and Waledac could cause serious problems in 2009. Xarvester, according to Marshal may be an updated form of Srizbi; the two share a number of common features, including:

* HTTP command and control over nonstandard ports
* Encrypted template files contain several files needed for spamming
* Bots don’t need to do their own DNS lookups to send spam
* Config files have similar format and data
* Uploads Minidump crash file