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Home » Hacking News » Sophos new Zombie Alert

Sophos new Zombie Alert

by Nikola Strahija on July 19th, 2005 Anti-virus firm Sophos has launched a service that notifies organisations if any of their PCs are taken over by hackers. The ZombieAlert Service is designed to automatically notifie subscribers about exploited and hijacked computers on business networks.


SophosLabs thinks that more than 50 per cent of all spam originates from zombie computers. As spammers become more aggressive, collaborating with VXers to create botnet armies of zombie computers, legitimate organisations with hijacked computers are being identified as a source of spam. This not only harms the organizationís reputation, but can also cause the firmís email to be blocked by others.

ZombieAlert fires off a warning if spam from a subscriber's domain is trapped in Sophos's network of spam traps. It also provides notification to customers if their Internet Protocol (IP) addresses are listed in public Domain Name Server Blackhole Lists (DNSBL). ZombieAlert is part of Sophos's premium and platinum support packages. It can also be purchased as a standalone subscription at, for example, $2,500 for organisations with up to 1,000 seats.

Cleansing the net from the plague of zombie spam networks has become the focus of a number of industry initiatives over recent months. ISPs are encouraged to apply rate-limiting controls for email relays and to block port 25 (a common Internet port used for email) from inappropriate use as part of an educational campaign called Operation Spam Zombies, launched by the US Federal Trade Commission and government agencies worldwide in May 2005. ISPs are also being urged to educate consumers about net security and to provide tools to disinfect computers under one of the most ambitious net security education initiatives to date.


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