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News

US Botnet Uses Pinpoint Targetting of Retailers

Arbor Networks : 01 September, 2011  (Technical Article)
Arbor Networks comments on FBI investigation into the Black Energy Botnet targetting US online retailers
US Botnet Uses Pinpoint Targetting of Retailers
The FBI is currently investigating a series of DDoS attacks that have targeted several US battery retail websites in what looks like a corporate sabotage. Black Energy, is the name of the two botnets being used in the attacks and investigations have shown that they are controlled by command-and-control servers at Russian domains but are no doubt sponsored by a US competitor.

In relation to this news, Jeff Edwards, research analyst at Arbor Networks has the following comment:

“BlackEnergy botnet spent about a week attacking the websites of four different online retailers specializing in horse saddles and related gear. The week before that, the same botnet was going after three different online merchants of skin care products. And the week before that, it was attacking three different vendors of "Ed Hardy" brand clothes.  This botnet, like others powered by BlackEnergy, seem to operate in week-long cycles in which they attack a particular set of companies affiliated with the same segment of industry or commerce.  We have seen this pattern in all kinds of different market segments, including power tools, online pharmacies, online sportsbooks, accountants, wheelchair vendors, etc.  We have not spent our resources digging deeply to understand the motives of these attacks, but one (unproven) conjecture is that the botmaster rents out his botnet to people who want to "slow down" the online competition.”
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