What is a Botnet and How Does it Work?
Botnets are a collection of infected computers controlled by the bot-herder to perform wide-scale cyberattacks, spam and phishing campaigns. These infections can range from activism to state-sponsored disruption, and are a lucrative business for online services that offer attack-for-hire.
Bot-herders typically infect devices through a variety of infection vectors. This includes vulnerabilities in websites, firmware and applications as well as malware downloaded from phishing emails.
First-generation botnets are often centralized and use a single command-and-control (C&C) server to control the entire network. However, this client-server model is susceptible to a single point of failure and makes mitigation efforts more difficult.
More recent botnets, which are also referred to as peer-to-peer (P2P) botnets, have been designed to eliminate the need for a centralized server by embedding the control structure directly into the botnet itself. This approach is more resilient to attack than centralized models, but it does require more skill and technical expertise to implement.
As a result, effective security solutions need to be used for the early detection and elimination of these attacks. A reliable anti-virus software will detect the presence of these threats in their infancy stage and will ensure that they are removed from infected systems before they cause any damage. It will also allow users to enhance their security posture and frame a robust security strategy.