Spam as a business
Seen on the Microsoft Switzerland Security Blog:
"Analysis of the net addresses where the e-mail messages originated showed that more than 100,000 hijacked home computers [my emphasis] spread across 119 nations had been used to despatch the junk mail."
Do you have a home computer? A broadband connection? Then the spammers want your machine, and if you give them the chance, they will use it. Get thee a firewall and get thee patched (my networks were hammered by employment spam that was being sent via home PCs compromised via the vulnerability patched by MS06-040).
Coincidentally, Trend has released a product called Intercloud, specifically addresses the mounting threat posed by botnets—networks of compromised machines that can be remotely controlled by an attacker:
Hopefully such technology will, over time, help reduce the damage caused by home based spambots and other zombies. Its always been a major problem that home based PCs, and their users, do not have an IT department to oversee a system's security and health status. Now ISPs will hopefully find it easier to detect, and neutralise, such compromised systems. I can only hope that the ISPs also take steps to educate their users. Just cutting them off isn't going to fix anything unless the users infected are also taught how to not only clean their system, but avoid being infected again in the future.