Bob Rankin: Warning, Danger: Botnets!


By Bob Rankin

What is a Botnet?

Okay, here’s the scoop… a botnet is a collection of ordinary home and office computers that have been compromised by rogue software. The term “botnet” is short for “robot network” and describes the situation rather well. Computers that have been caught up in a botnet have been effectively taken over, and can be used to perform almost any task by the person or persons who control the botnet. Botnets are controlled by criminals and other miscreants whose motives include selling products, operating financial scams and crippling websites through coordinated attacks.

Should you be concerned about botnets? Yes, because botnets operate silently, and your computer may be affected without you ever suspecting it. Botnets are everywhere. It is estimated that over 30 million “zombie” computers are unknowingly caught up in these networks that distribute spam, steal personal information and participate in denial of service attacks. Botnets are carefully planned to spread via viral infections and other malicious software. They use email, social engineering and P2P (peer to peer) technology to spread to other computers. Once your PC is infected, it may attempt to spread the botnet code to others on a local network in a home or office setting.

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This excerpt is shared with permission from Bob Rankin.

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