Peer-to-peer botnets pose fresh network threat

Businesses, governments and internet service providers face dangerous new network disruption and malware attacks from botnets based on peer-to-peer technology (P2P) instead of the more common hierarchical structure.

Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Laboratories, the Russian antivirus company that identified the new method, said the new method had already succeeded in strangling internet communications in Krasnodar and Astrakhan for several weeks. “We do not know who was behind these attacks,” he said. “It may have been a test.”

Alex Gostev, senior virus analyst at Kaspersky, said the P2P nature of the new botnet meant that each infected machine needed to know only its neighbours. An instruction to activate the botnet could be sent to any of the machines in the network which would then propagate from machine to machine to build an attack.

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