Botnets have become ingloriously famous in the last years.
A bot is a short way to refer robot. It’s a type of software or script for executing commanded actions. Criminals infect all kinds of devices with it to control them. Botnets incorporate large numbers of bots, also called zombies, for scaring the planet with their attacks.
Botnet attacks can be really dangerous. It’s up to the evil minds behind every attack. Just try to imagine there are massive “armies” integrated by thousands, even millions of zombies computers globally spread that will obey someone blindly. It sounds bloody scary, doesn’t it?
What’s a Botnet attack?
It’s a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) type of attack. They target organizations’ servers and websites. What attackers usually do is to get a botnet robust enough to attack their victim. Once they can control a large botnet, they simultaneously command all the zombies to connect to a server. In other words, they command to request the same website at the same time. The number of queries will be massive, and a server can soon be overwhelmed by this enormous load of work. With the server down, the website and its services will be denied for legit users.
To track the source of this attack to stop it can be a titanic and pointless effort. First, identifying and filtering (with regular technology) normal traffic and bots are hard, mainly because bots are legit devices connected to the Internet. And second, a Botnet attack is a multiple source attack. Bots can be located around the world. If you manage to track and stop a bunch of them, many more will keep attacking.
Why is a Botnet attack so dangerous?
A botnet attack is dangerous due to many reasons.
- It’s a multiple source attack.
- Botnets are really useful for criminals because they can remotely control all the infected devices they want without revealing or compromising their real location easily.
- The owners of the infected devices do not necessarily realize that their computers, tablets, or smartphones are taking part in such malicious actions. So you can’t count on them to stop them.
- Some criminals create their own botnets or networks of maliciously recruited bots to execute illegal actions. But currently, people can also rent a botnet and a complete tool kit for executing an attack. This has made it easier and affordable to enable this type of attack. You don’t have to be an experienced hacker, only be angry at your closest competitor, be a hater of the company that fired you, be a person looking for a sort of revenge or to get some attention.
- Besides DDoS attacks, botnets can be used for more criminal actions. For example, shady people can infect your devices to use them for spreading spam on the Internet, for sending phishing messages to your own contacts, for infecting more devices to enlarge the botnet they belong to. Miners of cryptocurrency can infect your device to work for them too. They will use non-stop your computer’s resources, your Internet service, electricity, etc., for their benefit.
Aren’t you worried yet?
Botnet attacks can be seen as the exponential multiplication of danger. Unfortunately, it’s already a popular technique to enable lethal online attacks. As we explained, instead of getting harder, it’s getting easier to execute them.
Bots integrating these nets can be everywhere, and they are just waiting for the criminals’ instruction to attack blindly! Don’t risk your luck and your business! The best decision is to prevent. Get a proficient security strategy and technology today!