Security software firm Sophos has introduced an automatic “zombie” detection product which allows companies to locate networked computers that have been taken over by remote hackers.
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Zombie computers are used by hackers and fraudsters to distribute viruses, denial of service attacks, spam and phising e-mails across the internet, without their owners knowing they have been taken over and are being used this way.
Sophos estimates that half of all spam originates from zombie computers.
It has launched ZombieAlert to preserve the reputation of those firms which become affected by zombie computers on their network, and to stop their e-mail systems being clogged up by spammers’ outgoing messages.
ZombieAlert advises service subscribers when any computer on their network is found to have sent spam to Sophos’ global network of spam traps.
It also provides rapid notification to customers if their internet protocol addresses become listed in public Domain Name Server Blackhole Lists (DNSBL), which could stop their legitimate email reaching its destination.
Once alerted, companies can then disinfect their networks.