Security researchers have discovered a new type of botnet that uses web servers instead of individual users' machines to launch its attacks.
The botnet, capable of launching a sophisticated Denial of Service (DoS) attack, was discovered by security company Imperva. The botnet is believed to comprise some 300 web servers around the globe.
Amachai Shulman, chief technology officer at Imperva said: “Instead of using 50 personal computers, you can use a single server. To some extent, it's easier to maintain this kind of attack because there are fewer computers [involved] and there's less of a chance for the [attack] code to be detected.”
The botnet was uncovered when two infected web servers attacked a network provider in Netherlands.
According to the company, the attack was launched using a harmless-looking user interface on the internet that allowed attackers to specify which IP address to attack, the length of time of the attack and the port which was to be attacked.
Imperva reported that the company was aware that its servers were being attacked.