TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Bringing Botnets Out of the Shadows / Online Volunteers Monitor

Bringing Botnets Out of the Shadows / Online Volunteers Monitor

Monty Solomon (
Tue, 21 Mar 2006 14:06:20 -0500

Bringing Botnets Out of the Shadows
Online Volunteers Monitor Illegal Computer Networks

By Brian Krebs Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 21, 2006; 9:39 AM

Nicholas Albright's first foray into some of the darkest alleys of the
Internet came in November 2004, shortly after his father committed
suicide. About a month following his father's death, Albright
discovered that online criminals had broken into his dad's personal
computer and programmed it to serve as part of a worldwide,
distributed network for storing pirated software and movies.

Albright managed to get the network shuttered with a call to the
company providing the Internet access the criminals were using to
control it. From that day forward, Albright poured all of his free
time and pent-up anger over his father's death into assembling
"Shadowserver," a group of individuals dedicated to battling large,
remote-controlled herds of hacked personal PCs, also known as

Now 27, Albright supports his wife and two children as a dispatcher
for a health care company just outside of Boulder, Colo. When he is
not busy fielding calls, Albright is chatting online with fellow
Shadowserver members, trading intelligence on the most active and
elusive botnets. Each "bot" is a computer on which the controlling
hacker has installed specialized software that allows him to
commandeer many of its functions. Hackers use bots to further their
online schemes or as collection points for users' personal and
financial information.

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