Trend Micro Rips Lid Off Estonian Cybercrime Hub - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
IT Leadership // IT Strategy
Commentary
8/26/2009
03:00 PM
Alexander Wolfe
Alexander Wolfe
Commentary
Connect Directly
Facebook
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Trend Micro Rips Lid Off Estonian Cybercrime Hub

An important Trend Micro paper, spotlighting a cybercriminal hub operating out of Estonia, has surfaced on Slashdot. The racket here is that a seemingly legitimate Internet Service Provider is in reality the headquarters for a rogue network, which extends into Europe and the United States. The breadth of the deception outlined in the paper is scary; doubly so because cybercrime is emerging as the single biggest security threat of the next decade.

An important Trend Micro paper, spotlighting a cybercriminal hub operating out of Estonia, has surfaced on Slashdot. The racket here is that a seemingly legitimate Internet Service Provider is in reality the headquarters for a rogue network, which extends into Europe and the United States. The breadth of the deception outlined in the paper is scary; doubly so because cybercrime is emerging as the single biggest security threat of the next decade.The paper, by Trend Micro threat analysts Ben April, Feike Hacquebord, and Rainer Link, is entitled "A Cybercrime Hub." It can be downloaded as a pdf here.

Hacquebord introduces the masquerading Estonian ISP in a Trend Micro blog post. The illicit network has been in operation since 2005. "Employees administer sites that host codec Trojans and command and control servers that steer armies of infected computers," he writes.

A bunch of daughter companies in cahoots with the illegitimate ISP were taken offline in 2008. However, the operation recovered from that blow, and today, Hacquebord writes "we count about 20 different webhosting providers where the criminal Estonian outfit has its presence. Besides this, the company own two networks in the United States."

There's more, and it's all scary stuff, so I urge you to read the Trend Micro paper (Again, it's available as a pdf here.)

In closing, I'd like to point you to my recent ByteandSwitch blog post, Cybersecurity Challenge: Is Your Network Safe? (Probably Not). In the post, I talk about cybercrime alarms being raised in regard to U.S. government IT systems.

It's my sense that, while there are certainly lapses in government systems -- many of which stem from the way such systems are acquired and upgraded -- government and military personnel seem more sensitized to the whole issue of cybercriminal gangs operating out of places like Russia and China than do people in the business world. Perhaps it makes sense that they're on heightened alert, because they're a first-level target.

Yet that doesn't mean commercial networks and systems aren't vulnerable. They are almost equally at risk, and we all know there are many, many breaches we don't hear about. (Paging the big banks.)

As I wrote on ByteandSwitch :

"This time around, I don't think the alarmists are crying wolf. The threat from organized cybercriminals is real. Also, the protection lapses of government networks are probably duplicated by most commercial setups."

Follow me on Twitter: (@awolfe58)

What's your take? Let me know, by leaving a comment below or e-mailing me directly at [email protected]. Like this blog? Subscribe to its RSS feed: (here)

 My videos on ( YouTube)

 Facebook 

  LinkedIn

Alex Wolfe is editor-in-chief of InformationWeek.com.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
IT Careers: Top 10 US Cities for Tech Jobs
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  1/14/2020
Commentary
Predictions for Cloud Computing in 2020
James Kobielus, Research Director, Futurum,  1/9/2020
News
What's Next: AI and Data Trends for 2020 and Beyond
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  12/30/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
The Cloud Gets Ready for the 20's
This IT Trend Report explores how cloud computing is being shaped for the next phase in its maturation. It will help enterprise IT decision makers and business leaders understand some of the key trends reflected emerging cloud concepts and technologies, and in enterprise cloud usage patterns. Get it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll