After takedown, botnet-linked ISP Troyak resurfaces

The Troyak ISP has found a new upstream provider, returning connectivity to Zeus servers

Last week FBI Director Robert Mueller called the fight against hackers "the cyber equivalent of cat-and-mouse." On Wednesday security experts trying to take down the Zeus botnet got a taste of what he meant.

Just hours after Internet service providers severed network connectivity to Troyak, an ISP associated with the Zeus botnet, the ISP has regained connectivity after peering with a new upstream Internet service provider.

"Don't worry, it is up and running again," Troyak spokesman Roman Starchenko said in an e-mail to IDG News Service. "We fixed our weakness and now it will become concrete stable."

He blamed the outage on an administrative error.

Security researchers confirmed Wednesday that Troyak was back online, after peering with an Internet service provider named Ya.

That means the 68 Zeus botnet command-and-control servers associated with Troyak can reconnect to hacked systems and issue new instructions. Disputing Starchenko's explanation, security experts say they had stopped that from happening by getting Troyak's upstream providers to stop peering with it, essentially isolating it from the rest of the Internet.

The person or group who knocked Troyak offline has asked to remain anonymous, according to several researchers familiar with the situation.

Zeus is a botnet kit used by a large number of cybercriminals. Researchers have counted 249 Zeus command-and-control servers to date. Another Internet service provider named Group 3 was also knocked offline Wednesday. It has not been reconnected, however.

The next step will be to "de-peer" Troyak from its new service provider, either an ISP named Nassist or its upstream provider, Hurricane Electric, said a researcher familiar with the matter who spoke via instant message on condition of anonymity.

The back and forth is reminiscent of the November 2008 takedown of San Jose, California, ISP McColo. When McColo went offline, a large percentage of the world's spam disappeared with it, but criminals were able to slowly regain control of their botnet networks, and spam levels returned.

That may well be what happens with Troyak, although some hope that won't be the case.

"We have taken some of their territory, they are trying to out flank us," the researcher said via IM. "We are going to win this one -- we have 'em boxed in."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Zeus botnetbotnetssecurity

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?