Botnets – the hidden army of zombies…

So you’ve never heard of botnets? Well that is because they are hidden and go undetected. An army of software robots or ‘bots’ they infect computers that are remotely controlled by the creator. These infected computers are known as zombies and they serve the master. Most computers used in this way are home computers and you may not even be aware that your computer is a zombie!

What do zombies do? Generally they are used to send SPAM email often with viruses and spread all types of malware. It is a great way for cyber-criminals to make these attacks undetected and pass the blame to you!

Most zombies are computers that have little or no protection. Computers with high speed connections are most attractive to the cyber-criminals. A zombie is created through an open internet port through which a Trojan horse program can be embedded. At a specific time the zombie army is unleashed by it’s master to cause devastation. The motivation for a zombie master may be to cripple competition through a DDoS attack, or send SPAM to make money.

Thankfully you can protect yourself against infection. A simple firewall will normally suffice, making sure that no internet ports are left open. Once you are infected, chances are you may not know. If you do, killing the zombie is much more difficult than chopping off the head! In reality you are unlikely to identify the Trojan and even if you do, killing it is another story. The best bet is to reformat the hard drive and start again.