Zombies and Botnets may sound like something from a science fiction movie. However, they are real and can potentially affect anyone with a computer connected to the Internet.
Botnet is the combination of Robot and Network, and is used to describe the situation when several computers have become infected with malware allowing a hacker or criminal to control all of them at the same time.
Every computer that has been infected is referred to as a zombie, or slave, computer. Once infected with this type of malware, it is potentially at risk of becoming part of a Botnet and being used for criminal activity.
What is the purpose of a Botnet and what does it mean for a computer once it is infected?
There are many uses of Botnets. For example – they allow a criminal to harness the processing power of many different computers which increases the ability to initiate more destructive types of computer crimes.
One use is a DDOS attack where large amounts of useless information is directed at a single network with the objective of causing the network to crash as it is unable to process all the information. The criminal cannot generate this much useless information by just using their own computers, but if they utilise the power of thousands of zombie computers, the DDOS attack becomes more powerful, and more likely to succeed.
Criminals also use zombie computers to send out large amounts of SPAM emails, to spread other types of malware, and to commit fraud and identity theft; activities which the criminal does not want to risk doing on their own computer.
If you don’t run regular, and good, security software scans on your computer, you could unwittingly be using a zombie computer!
Botnet malware infects your computer like most other types of malware. This can be through:
– downloading malicious files from the Internet,
– opening dangerous email attachments,
– exploiting vulnerabilities in out-of-date software or by
– connecting suspicious storage devices to your computer
Botnet malware may cause your computer to go intermittently slower, or behave unpredictably.
Most Botnet malware can be found and removed using up-to-date security software. If you spot something odd, do a security scan or contact OrbitTech to check your computers