ZeroAccess bot has infected 2 million consumers, firm calculates

And 13 % of US consumers infected by malware

Up to 13 percent of US and Canadian PC consumers show evidence of malware infection, with nearly half affected by high-risk botnets, rootkits and bank Trojans, Alcatel-Lucent's Kindsight division has reported.

In Q3 of 2012 the company found that 8.1 percent of its customers were infected with 'moderate-level' malware, mostly adware browser redirection programs used in click fraud scams and other assorted adware.

A further 6.5 percent of consumers were infected by more critical malware, with two versions of the now more or less endemic ZeroAccess botnet being the most commonly encountered.

Worse news still but almost one in ten infected users had been hit by the nasty and hard-to-clean TDL4-TDSS rootkit with the Alureon Trojan not far behind at about half this number. The alarming percentages for these three threats perhaps go some way to explaining the continuing hazard users face from online bank theft.

"We estimate that there are over 2 million infected users worldwide with 685,000 in the United States alone," said Kindsight of the scale of ZeroAccess infection.

ZeroAcess also utilised a network of 200,000 'supernodes', hijacked peer-to-peer controllers, most likely servers with direct Internet connections. Dedicated to a variety of forms of clickfraud, the bot was probably costing advertisers as much as $900,000 per day or an astonishing $328 million per annum.

"The ZeroAccess botnet has grown significantly to become the most active botnet we've measured this year," said Kindsight Security Labs' Kevin McNamee.

"Cybercriminals are primarily using it to take over victim computers and conduct ad-click fraud. With ZeroAccess, they can mimic the human behavior of clicking online ads, resulting in millions of dollars of fraud."

Mobile infection rates are rising on Android, but at 3 percent of devices remain low by PC standards. Most rogue mobile software is adware.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags KindsightPersonal Techalcatel-lucentsecurity

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by John E Dunn

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    IDG Live Webinar:The right collaboration strategy will help your business take flight

    Speakers - Mike Harris, Engineering Services Manager, Jetstar - Christopher Johnson, IT Director APAC, 20th Century Fox - Brent Maxwell, Director of Information Systems, THE ICONIC - IDG MC/Moderator Anthony Caruana

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts