Zombie Pfizer Computers Spew Viagra Spam

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Further to our post about the Storm Worm Botnet being the world’s most powerful supercomputer we have more Botnet/Virus news for you.
Computers inside pharmaceutical giant Pfizer’s network are spamming the internet with e-mails touting the company’s flagship erectile-enhancement drug Viagra, along with ads for knockoff Rolexes and shady junk stocks.
But the e-mails are not part of Pfizer’s official marketing efforts.
Pfizer’s computers appear to have been infected with malware that has transformed them into zombie computers sending spam at the behest of a hacker. Oddly enough, they are spamming the public’s inboxes with ads for the company’s own product.


Pfizer computers have been spamming inboxes for the last six months and 138 different Pfizer IP addresses have been blacklisted by various groups. It is currently impossible to estimate the number of infected computers without monitoring equipment being installed on Pfizer’s networks.
A previous case similar to this involved an international shipping company that employs about 150,000 people, that company’s subsequent audit found 2,500 infected computers. Support Intelligence claims to have found similar spam bots at Bank of America and Toshiba.
The flood of spam adds to Pfizer’s recent computer security woes. This summer, the company revealed that it had suffered three breaches of sensitive data, cumulatively affecting more than 50,000 individuals.
In one breach, a Pfizer employee exposed personal information on 17,000 employees after installing peer-to-peer software on a laptop. In another breach, confirmed Tuesday, a former employee downloaded sensitive data, including social security numbers and credit-card information for about 34,000 Pfizer employees.
Computer-security experts agree that millions of PCs are likely to be infected with estimates ranging from 10% – 20+% infection rate. Hackers use the computers for numerous nefarious purposes, from sending spam to extorting money from businesses through denial-of-service attacks.
The malicious power of botnets was displayed in April when Russian attackers launched sustained denial-of-service attacks against thousands of government and commercial websites in the small European republic of Estonia, to retaliate for Estonia’s relocation of a World War II memorial statue of a Soviet soldier.
Hackers build botnets by infesting computers through booby-trapped web pages and spam infested with attachments or worms that travel from computer to computer. Most computer users have no idea they are infected, because the remotely controlled malware often uses a small fraction of the infected machine’s computing power and has no effect on day-to-day computer usage.

If your company is worried about possible infections by botnet viruses contact us today for a quote on our computer and network maintenance plans.

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