BotNet News

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A botnet is a network of devices infected with malware and controlled by malicious software. Hackers that control botnets are called bot herders and they typically use them to conduct cyber attacks against targets. Attacks can include stealing credentials, executing CPU-intensive tasks or taking services and websites offline through Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.

Infection of devices for a botnet usually occurs when an individual clicks on a malicious link or downloads and installs a piece of malware without realizing it. Once infected, these devices are referred to as zombies that become part of an army used by the bot herders to launch attacks.

Bot herders control their botnets using a client/server or peer-to-peer model. The centralized client/server model relies on one central server to send automated commands to infected devices, known as bots. The bots are programmed to remain dormant until instructed to engage in an attack.

The decentralized P2P model, on the other hand, distributes instruction responsibilities across all infected bots by using covert communication channels and a variety of protocols. This approach makes it harder to detect and shut down the botnet by targeting its central command and control (C&C) server.

Although the motives for building and controlling a botnet vary, most bot herders are driven by greed. The profit from renting out their botnets for DDoS attacks or selling access to them on the Dark Web is often significant. Some hackers also build botnets for personal satisfaction or to demonstrate their hacking skills.