What is Botnet?
Today, botnets have become one of the biggest threats to the security systems. Infected devices are controlled remotely by cybercriminals and used for specific functions. So, the malicious operations stay hidden to the user, they even unaware of a botnet which infected their system. Do you know what are they exactly and how can you protect your personal information and devices? If not, then don't worry about that, here, in this article, we are going to discuss Botnet - what is it and how does it work? It would help you to prevent your data from the botnet. So, let's know it -
What is a botnet?
A botnet is a common type of malware and a collection of internet-connected devices such as computers, smartphones or and internet of things. Botnets can be used to perform distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack), send spam, hack your data and allow the attacker to access the device and its connection. Botnets are commonly used to send email spam, engage in click fraud campaigns and generate malicious traffic for distributed denial-of-service attacks.
How does it work?
Botnet infections are usually spread through malware, such as a Trojan horse. The botnet is typically designed to automatically scan systems and devices for common vulnerabilities that haven't been patched and infecting as many devices as possible. The cybercriminal will seek to infect and control thousands, tens of thousands or even millions of computers so that the cybercriminal can act as the master of a large ‘bot-network’ that is capable of delivering a DDoS attack, a large-scale spam campaign or other types of cyber attack. Once the desired number of devices is infected, attackers can control the bots. attackers will establish a large network and then sell access to that network to other criminals either on a rental basis or as an outright sale. Spammers may rent or buy a network to operate a large-scale spam campaign. Then infected devices controlled by a single attacker or attack group. They targeted to creating a botnet to infect as many connected devices as possible and use the computing power and resources of those devices for automated tasks that generally unrecognized by the users of the devices.
Most common botnet actions
Email is seen today as an older vector for attacks, spam botnets are some of the largest in size. They are used for sending out spam messages, including malware. The Cutwail botnet, for example, can send up to 74 billion messages per day.
It leverages the massive scale of the botnet to overload a target network or server with requests, rendering it inaccessible to its intended users. DDoS attacks target organizations for personal or political motives or to extort payment in exchange for ceasing the attack.
It includes botnets specifically designed for the direct theft of funds from enterprises and credit card information. Financial botnets like the Zeus botnet have been responsible for attacks involving millions of dollars stolen directly from multiple enterprises over very short periods of time.
The smaller botnets designed to compromise specific high-value systems of organizations from which attackers can penetrate further into the network. These intrusions are extremely dangerous to organizations as attackers specifically target their most valuable assets, including financial data, research and development, intellectual property, and customer information.
How to protect your data from a botnet?
Update your OS
Keep your OS up to date. Software developers actively combat malware; they know early on when threats arise. Set your OS to update automatically and make sure you’re running the latest version.
Don't click on links
Links to malicious websites are common infection points, so avoid clicking them without a thorough examination. Don’t download attachments or click on links from email addresses you don’t recognize. This is one of the most common vectors for all forms of malware.
Botnets use P2P networks and file sharing services to infect computers. Scan downloads before executing the files or find secure alternatives for transferring files.
Use good security software
Good security begins with an Internet security suite that detects malware that has been installed, removes what’s present on your machine and prevents future attacks.
Use a firewall when browsing the Internet. This is easy to do with Mac computers, as they come with Firewall software pre-installed. If you’re using a Windows-based machine, you might need to install third-party software.
Avoid unknown sources
Email attachments are an effective source of infection for many types of viruses. Don’t open an attachment from an unknown source. Even the emails that sent from friends and family. Bots regularly use contact lists to compose and send spam and infected emails. That email from your mother may actually be a botnet in disguise.
Don’t visit unknown websites
Don’t visit websites that are known distributors of malware. One of the things that a full-service Internet security suite can do is warn you when you’re visiting such sites. When in doubt, check with good internet security software.