There has been a dramatic increase in the number of zombie networks cropping up lately. Recent metrics by the Shadowserver Foundation shows that in the last three months botnet numbers have quadrupled. Although strangely enough, there seems to be no accompanying increase in spam levels.
According to BBC News, "In June 2008 Shadowserver Foundation knew about more than 100,000 machines that were part of a botnet. By the end of August this figure had exceeded 450,000 machines."
Reason for this hectic spike are not clear, but there are many theories floating around the net. According to the SANS Internet Storm Centre, it may be more than a co-incidence that the dramatic rise in these networks is more or less parallel with the massive SQL injection attacks we experienced recently.
It is also being said that because it happened during schools holidays in the USA, it could just be due to bored kids. Maybe all the cool kids are doing it... but more than likely it is due to a combination of factors, rather than a specific one.
Whatever the reason behind the huge swell of compromised machines, users should more than ever before be vigilant with their security. Patch, patch, patch, and don't click on weird stuff... it can never be stressed enough.
Also, just a quick mention that our Hands on Hacking Unlimited course with Zone-h has been postponed until the 11th and 12th of November. If you have not yet sent in a booking form, please do so – it's gonna be awesome.