New research into botnets shows activity level in the UK

Network provider Level 3 Communications has released some new research into botnets and the threats they pose.

The report, entitled ‘Safeguarding the Internet: Level 3 Botnet Research Report’, is drawn from the company’s monitoring of over two-thirds of internet traffic worldwide looking for malicious activity.

Level 3 says that it tracked over a thousand command and control servers (C2) during the first quarter of 2015 to compile this report, and found that the UK was in eighth place in the global rankings when it came to generating C2 traffic. Indeed, this country was responsible for 12 per cent of global C2 traffic.

The most prolific generator of C2 traffic? That would be the US, which the company notes has an expansive infrastructure and wealth of valuable targets. The Ukraine is second place, followed by Russia, the Netherlands and then Germany.

When it comes to receiving victim traffic, funnily enough the UK was also in eighth place in Europe – with the European league leader being Norway, followed by Spain.

The report also noted that botnets-as-a-service is a strongly growing phenomenon, with people preferring to buy into a botnet rather than build one from scratch. As for the cost of these “services”, a thousand UK botnets will run to around £80 per month.

These effectively commercial botnet businesses are, however, easier to deal with, because the way they are configured – in a flat structure, Level 3 notes – means they are easier to find and shut down.

The report also looked into DDoS attacks across the globe, and found that 56 per cent of these were made against the US. 32 per cent occurred in EMEA, and 12 per cent in Latin America. The most targeted arenas for DDoS are the games industry, and ISPs over in the States.

Also check out the infographic from Level 3 below...

Infographic_Top 5 Security Threats

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