Spammers prepare new anti-Georgia botnet onslaught


Spammers prepare new anti-Georgia botnet onslaught

Edward Parshotam

Cybercriminals are attempting to create a botnet network to launch cyber attacks against Georgian Government computers, according to Gary Warner, director of computer research and forensics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Spam e-mails sent by the criminals seek to trick the user into clicking on a mock-up BBC story about the Georgian president.

The email message says 'Mikheil Saaskahvili gay scandal! New of this week' before linking recipients to a malicious server that attempts to infect the user's computer.

Warner's team tracked the messages to 44 computers. Six are located in Russia and one has been linked to the Russian Ministry of Education.

Warner believes that while cyber attacks on Georgia are more intense than those launched by Russian hackers a year ago against Estonia, there is no evidence to suggest these attacks are state-sponsored.

"I really doubt this is an action by the Russian government, I would think that Russia with all its resources and experience in cyber warfare would do something more effective than put a website offline for a while, or say the president is gay, if it was state-sponsored the site would be taken offline for good."

Warner believes the Trojan is the work of hackers from the same group responsible for attacks on Estonia. He said: "The attack is so similar it's almost inconceivable that it's not the same people."

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