Botnet resurrects to target user passwords
The Waledac botnet gained a reputation as one of the internet's leading sources of spam prior to its Microsoft-led takedown in early 2010. However, emerging reports suggest that a new variant of the botnet has surfaced with a renewed focus on stealing passwords.
According to Computerworld, online security researchers have been surprised by the recent resurrection of Waledac, with many assuming that - if operational - it would have resurfaced during the ripe spamming conditions presented by the deaths of political leaders and other highly publicized events in the intervening years.
"What is sure is the fact that the newly added functionalities (email and FTP credentials harvesting) will contribute to an explosive development of the new botnet," BitDefender online security analyst Bogdan Botezatu explained to the news source.
At its peak, according to CIO Insight, Waledac accounted for about 1 percent of global spam volume. However, its recent interest in exploiting weak password manager strategies and distributed credentials to cybercriminal colleagues could send shockwaves through the corporate IT community. The recent spate of data breaches caused by leaked passwords has already accounted for untold financial and reputational damages.