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Summer's Zotob Attack Cost Each Company $100K To Clean Up

Around 13% of the enterprises polled reported that they experienced at least some negative impact from Zotob, which hit in August, a security company says.
"Under-the-radar attacks are more likely today," noted Cooper, explaining that it is in attackers' interests to narrow the focus of their attacks; it allows them to operate with relative immunity.

"Look at the three Dutchmen who were just arrested for collecting hundreds of thousands of bots," Cooper said, referring to recent news from the Netherland about the arrest of three men charged with creating and using a botnet of as many as 1.5 million computers. The three reportedly used a bot worm dubbed Toxbot to compromise machines

"Toxbot wasn't on anyone's radar, it didn't make it into any media stories," said Cooper. "There is going to be a point where virtually everything falls under the radar, and then we'll have to revise the way we look at anti-virus defense."

Cooper's report laid out other details of the Zotob attack as well. Companies spent about $97,000 to clean up a Zotob infection, the report noted, and 61 percent said that it took 80 or more hours to put their networks back together.

And more than one in four impacted companies were hit by Zotob because no firewall was in place or firewall policies were incorrectly set.

That was one of the surprises to Cooper. "Companies need to review security basics, like firewalls," he said. "Schmancy fancy is wonderful, but if you're not doing the basics, who cares?"

Two men were arrested in Turkey and Morocco in late August, and charged with creating and distributing Zotob. Neither man has yet faced trial.