Tag Archives: Grum

Grum botnet is staging a comeback

Remember the apparently successful Grum botnet takedown? Well, Grum is staging a comeback. Sure, a few tens of thousands of spam messages in August 2012 doesn’t seem like much compared to the millions in Grum’s heyday in July 2012, yet those new numbers are clearly increasing.

July, August 2012 Grum botnet top 10 ASNs

Let’s compare the July 2012 Grum botnet top 10 ASNs to the August 2012 top 10. Still spewing spam from Grum in August were India’s AS 9829 BSNL-NIB – National Internet Backbone Korea’s AS 4766 KIXS-AS-KR – Korea Telecom and Vietnam’s AS 7643 VNPT-AS-VN – Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications (VNPT). Is there a pattern there? National government-sponsored Internet backbones don’t clean up their spam-spewing botnet act well?

Congratulations to those ASNs missing from the new top 10, which are

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TTNET ejected Festi but still infested with Lethic and other botnets 2012-07,2012-08

Congratulations to Turkey's TTNET's AS 9121 for getting Festi botnet spam down from more than a million messages a day to less than 100,000!


However, Festi is still in there, and TTNET has other problems, as well, including Lethic, Cutwail, Waledac, Maazben, and even Grum(!) botnets, plus Sendsafe.

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Grum down, but… 1 June 2012 – 30 July 2012, SpamRankings.net

Here is the promised followup to our look at the Grum botnet takedown, in which we have good news and not so good news.

A week ago we didn’t see much effect. As we noted, that was possibly because the takedown took down the command and control nodes, presumably leaving the bots still spewing whatever spam campaign they had already queued up.

Well, apparently that campaign ran out, because they stopped spewing. Here is an updated graph of grum botnet and its top 10 ASNs:

Grum botnet and its top 10 ASNs

Grum botnet and its top 10 ASNs
Graph by John S. Quarterman for SpamRankings.net.

The updated Top 10 Botnets graph has good news and bad news:

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Grum and other botnets, 1 June 2012 – 19 July 2012, SpamRankings.net

Apparently the grum botnet has been taken down, or at least its command and control structure. We don’t see a lot of change yet, but we’ll keep watching.

BBC News wrote today, Huge spam botnet Grum is taken out by security researchers: A botnet which experts believe sent out 18% of the world’s spam email has been shut down, a security firm said.

Security company FireEye and spam-tracking service SpamHaus worked with local internet service providers (ISPs) to shut down the illegal network….

“Grum’s takedown resulted from the efforts of many individuals,” wrote Atif Mushtaq, a security researcher with FireEye.

“This collaboration is sending a strong message to all the spammers: Stop sending us spam. We don’t need your cheap Viagra or fake Rolex.”

Well, let’s have a look. Here are the top 10 botnets for 1 June 2012 through today (GMT, i.e., really yesterday):

Top 10 Botnets

Dropouts on 26,27 June 2012 were due to software glitches on our end.
Graph by John S. Quarterman for SpamRankings.net from CBL data.

Grum is that blue-green line running near the bottom, showing about 1 to 2 million spam messages a day. Grum was the third spammiest botnet during that period (not counting n/a, which is spam detected without having to dig into what botnet it came from), so taking grum down is a big deal. However, we don’t really see Continue reading