Rustock Reigned In

Chalk up a big win for the white hats in the ongoing cyberwar against the evil spammers.

Good guys take down notorious Rustock spamming botnet

Rustock, one of the largest and most notorious spam botnets, suddenly fell silent Wednesday and has remained off line.

The takedown of Rustock’s 26 command-and-control servers appears to be the result of a coordinated effort by longstanding anti-spamming groups, the most prominent of which is Spamhaus.org, according to cybersecurity blogger Brian Krebs, who broke the story.

Rustock’s control servers directed the activities of hundreds of thousands of infected PCs in homes and businesses, used primarily to deliver e-mail and social network messaging spam. Rustock is infamous for spreading ads for drugs from unlicensed online pharmacies.

Details of how the takedown was achieved are unclear; Rustock’s control servers were renowned for being nigh impregnable.

Rustock has been around for at least three years, and late last year had doubled its spam output over the previous year; in 2010, Rustock sent out more than 44 billion spam emails per day, accounting for as much as 48% of all spam, and had more than one million bots under its control, according to MessageLabs, Symantec’ messaging security division.

See also:
Rustock Botnet Flatlined with No Spam Activity
Notorious Spamming Botnet, Rustock, Takes a Fall
Rustock botnet’s operations disrupted
Major spam network silenced mid-campaign
Rustock botnet goes quiet again
The World’s Largest Spambot Network Goes Quiet
Prolific Spam Network Is Unplugged
Prolific Spam Network Is Unplugged
Rustock Botnet is Down, But Maybe Not Out
Rustock botnet

It still amazes me how the botnet spammers find hundreds of thousands of computers to infect. If everyone would just keep their software patches up to date, botnets wouldn’t be a problem in the first place. It’s like leaving the front door to your house wide open with a sign that says “burglars welcome”.

/one of the biggest upshots of the Rustock takedown is that if you want to buy Viagra or other erectile dysfunction drugs in the future, you’re going to have to go see your doctor, because the spam offers will hopefully no longer flood your email inbox

Mexican Pirates In Texas?

Welcome to Homeland Security in the age of Obama and Janet Napolitano.

Pirates plying the waves of Falcon Lake

Heavily armed Mexican freshwater pirates have been shaking down U.S. boaters on Falcon Lake, a reservoir and bass fishing haven that straddles the Rio Grande.
At least three such incidents have been reported since April 30, the latest on Sunday, according to a Texas Department of Public Safety warning issued Tuesday that linked the muggings to northern Mexico’s increasing lawlessness.

According to descriptions of the incidents, the robbers — in at least one case posing as Mexican federal law enforcement officers — searched fishermen’s boats for guns and drugs, then demanded cash at gunpoint.

One of the incidents reportedly occurred on the U.S. side of the lake.

“The robbers are believed to be members of a drug trafficking organization or members of an enforcer group linked to a drug trafficking organization who are … using AK-47s or AR-15 rifles to threaten their victims,” the DPS statement said. “They appear to be using local Mexican fishermen to operate the boats to get close to American fishermen.”

See also:
Pirates terrorize boaters on Texas lake
Cartel Pirates Sailing Falcon Lake, Tx.
Falcon Lake Pirates
DPS warning: Pirates shaking down Falcon Lake boaters
Law Enforcement Agencies Urging Caution on Falcon Lake 5/18/10
Fishermen warned of armed robberies at Falcon Lake
DPS warns about ‘pirate’ attacks on fisherman
Fishermen warned about Falcon Lake dangers
Zapata officials say U.S. side of lake is safe

Who needs secure borders anyway?

/nothing to see here, move along, don’t worry, the country is in the very best of hands

Bad News . . . For Cancer

Scientists unlock genetic code in major cancer breakthrough

The entire genetic codes of two common types of cancer have been cracked, according to scientists, who say the breakthrough could unlock a new era in the treatment of deadly diseases.

Scientists at the UK-based Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute catalogued the genetic maps of skin and lung cancer and have pinpointed the specific mutations within DNA that can lead to dangerous tumors.

Researchers predict these maps will offer patients a personalized treatment option that ranges from earlier detection to the types of medication used to treat cancer.

The genetic maps will also allow cancer researchers to study cells with defective DNA and produce more powerful drugs to fight the errors, according to the the study’s scientists.

“The knowledge we extract over the next few years will have major implications for treatment,” Peter Campbell from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute said.

“By identifying all the cancer genes we will be able to develop new drugs that target the specific mutated genes and work out which patients will benefit from these novel treatments.”

See also:
Scientists crack ‘entire genetic code’ of cancer
British scientists crack killer cancer code
British scientists genetic breakthrough brings new hopes for cancer treatment
Scientists crack killer cancer code
UPDATE 1-Gene maps to transform scientists’ work on cancer
Scientists Decode Entire Genetic Code of Cancer
Cancer code cracked
Huge Step: Cancer Code Cracked By Scientists
Newly decoded cancer gene discoveries may revolutionize cancer treatment
Scientists Break Cancer Gene Code: Melanoma and Lung Cancer
Scientists Crack Genetic Codes of Two Cancers
Health Buzz: Researchers Crack Gene Code of Melanoma and Lung Cancer

It seems like at least once a year there’s a “breakthrough” in cancer research that threatens to end the deadly scourge but, so far, there’s still no “magic bullet” and cancer marches on. Let’s hope this research lives up to its potential and finally breaks the back of the deadly, insidious disease.

/my dad died of lung cancer and I used to smoke, so hurry up, please