We Really Owe a Lot to the Malware Researchers

January 30, 2009 on 12:40 pm | In Malware analysis | No Comments

Originally posted by Ira Winkler at https://365.rsaconference.com/people/ira_winkler/blog/2009/01/22/we-really-owe-a-lot-to-the-malware-researchers

One of the most important cybercrime prevention efforts in history was accomplished by the malware researchers who have been reverse engineering spyware and other malicious programs and identified McColo ISP as the key lynchpin in controlling the botnets of the most prolific cybercrime gangs. The FBI and other law enforcement and security agencies were nowhere to be found, and wanted no part of it, while the researchers worked with the larger ISPs to get McColo off the Internet. This had the net effect of significantly reducing the spread of cybercrime.

A lesser reported issue is that the same malware researchers launched a campaign to prevent the cybercrime gangs from regaining control of the botnets by registering domains that the malware was programmed to scan in case their controllers were unreachable. These individuals, and sometimes their employers, spent lots of time and money to head off the cybercrime gangs to keep the gangs from regaining control of the bots.

As the Downadup worm began to spread, it was again the malware researchers who were the only people trying to head off the growth of botnets. Again, the FBI and rest of the US Government takes the “It’s not my job,” attitude while the malware researchers exhaust their time and money to try to proactively stop what will amount to billions of dollars of loss, and potentially terrorist motivated attacks. I really don’t know how many people are aware of the effort of the malware researchers, and especially give them any thanks. I at least want to say a sincere, “Thank you!” for your work.

A heartfelt “Amen” to that from me.

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