World's Most Powerful Supercomputer Is A Botnet

When you think of supercomputers, you usually imagine a bunch of IBM looking fellows and ladies wearing white lab coats and clutching clipboards in a clean room next to a big  rack of silicon. But that's old-fashioned thinking;  New Zealand computer scientist Peter Gutman did some calculations, and the most powerful supercomputer in the world right now just might be the Storm Worm botnet. And criminals didn't put it together to play chess with Gary Kasparov.

Malware researchers tracking the threat are privately awed by the sheer volume of spam with social engineering lures to malicious executables. “It’s nonstop, never-ending,” said a virus analyst at a major computer security firm.

The attackers have tied the spam lures to global news events, links to YouTube videos and online greeting cards. The sophisticated operation includes the use of fast-flux networks to avoid shutdowns, a rootkit component to hide from anti-virus scanners and a P2P command-and-control structure that makes it near impossible to kill the controlling server.

The Storm Worm attackers have also hacked into legitimate Web sites and used iFrame redirects to send surfers to Web servers hosting malware downloaders.

All the tech-savvy people who laugh at the noobs that download this thing better beware; the latest play to infect users is a phony download page for the Tor anonymity proxy.