BotNet News

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A Botnet is a network of computers infected with malware that is controlled by an attacker or cybercriminal. Once hijacked, computers are used to execute a wide range of automated attacks like data theft, server takeovers, spam email generation, phishing campaigns and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Criminals also rent botnets to perform these attacks for a profit.

To build a botnet, hackers first infect devices with malware that will allow them to remotely control the device. Devices like routers, IoT devices and laptops with software vulnerabilities and easy-to-crack passwords are ideal candidates for this phase. Then, they deploy the bots by exploiting security holes in software and websites as well as phishing emails. Once deployed, the bots can then be commanded to do the attack using a command and control (C&C) system or peer-to-peer architecture.

When a machine is infected, the malware monitors for instructions from its controller. These commands are delivered over a variety of channels including website data, social media posts, responses to DNS queries and more. Early botnets were controlled by centralized servers, which made it easy for law enforcement and cybersecurity professionals to track down the bot herders and shut down their networks. However, newer P2P botnets are controlled by a more decentralized approach. The bots discreetly probe random IP addresses until they come in contact with another infected machine that shares updated commands or the latest version of the bot malware.

The best way to protect against Botnets is to avoid clicking on links in emails, text messages and social media posts. Instead, manually type in the link or search for it on a search engine to make sure that you are really going to the correct web address. In addition, a good antivirus program will help keep you from downloading the malware and prevent it from taking root on your computer or IoT device.