On the heels of reports that major global spam networks had been silenced by the fall of a pivotal U.S. hosting service, Net watchers late last week reported that the so-called botnets were coming alive again. That meant that the cyber crooks behind them not only had the means to remotely revive millions of compromised PCs but had found someone new to host their evil activities.

Then, word came from Eastern Europe that Estonian service providers had discovered their facilities were being used to host botnet command and control servers and promptly cut off service to the shadowy offenders behind it all. Almost half a million co-opted PCs around the world were programmed to call home to servers hosted on the Estonian system to get new instructions that would revive the botnet and allow the resumption of operations by the Srizbi botnet, which researchers say is responsibole for at least half the total spam traffic on the Net.

On the down side… If the cyber crooks behind the botnets follow form, they’ll probably just show up on some other obscure host system in another week or two. The question is, where will that host be and will its owners also cut off the spammers — or play along with them, as their original San José, CA, host, McColo did for so long?

Stay tuned…

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