Russian Business Network (RBN) watching requires healthy cynicism and two simple tricks i.e. (1) View their actions as you would an illusionist or as a stage magician, look for the misdirection, (2) Observe a historical perspective.
The good news is the publicity shy RBN does appear to have responded or is being forced to respond to being under the microscope as reported by Brian Krebs of the Washington Post. The bad news is the RBN IP ranges reportedly withdrawn are not the current RBN IP ranges utilized in current exploits. The excellent work of Geoff Huston and his cidr-report provides great information for those interested in the AS (Autonomous Systems) side of the Internet. This shows the following:
- 18.104.22.168/22 = Withdrawn
- 22.214.171.124/22 = Withdrawn
- 126.96.36.199/24 = Withdrawn
- 188.8.131.52/24 = Withdrawn
However, as shown here and elsewhere the recent RBN based PDF exploit utilized 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11, further many of the RBN “fake” anti-spyware and anti-malware websites use 18.104.22.168 as one of the many Internet “name servers”. Therefore one can only conclude
- 22.214.171.124/22 = Still active
- 126.96.36.199/22 = Still active
- 188.8.131.52/22 = Still active
Historically there have been many welcome reports of the demise of the RBN and their acolytes stretching back to 2004. Without any political bias it is reminiscent of being told the war in Iraq, is over circa 2003. To maintain a focused watch on the RBN as an organically growing organization is one of the main reasons a few of us created this blog in 2007.
This blog can only repeat the RBN as an organization uses many; guises, name servers, routes, stooges, etc., to operate under the radar and confuse. The excellent recent publicity through the many blogs, e-zines, and newspapers currently must only assist in gaining the necessary attention required. If only for the current 4 million plus and growing Internet users who will visit the RBN fake sites this month, and the many more who will suffer due to iFrame injections, Mpack and more. It is appropriate for a cynical view of any RBN related actions, and even more importantly maintain our vigilance.
There will be a detailed follow up article which will show a current example of the RBN and the "apparent" use of Chinese web space.