What the Heck are Botnets?

“A botnet is similar to obligatory army service for windows packing containers” – Stromberg (http://project.honeynet.org/papers/bots/)

Botnets are networks of computer systems that hackers have contaminated and grouped collectively below their control to propagate viruses, send illegal spam, and carry out attacks that cause web sites to crash.

What makes botnets exceedingly unhealthy is the problem in tracing them back to their creators in addition to the ever-growing use of them in extortion schemes. How are they utilized in extortion schemes? Imagine someone sending you messages to either pay up or see your web site crash. This scenario is starting to replay itself time and again again.

Botnets can include thousands of compromised machines. With such a big network, botnets can use Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) as a way to trigger mayhem and chaos. For example a small botnet with solely 500 bots can deliver company websites to there knees by utilizing the mixed bandwidth of all of the computer systems to overwhelm corporate programs and thereby cause the web site to appear offline.

Jeremy Kirk, IDG News Service on January 19, 2006, quotes Kevin Hogan, senior supervisor for Symantec Safety Response, in his article “Botnets shrinking in size, harder to trace”, Hogan says “extortion schemes have emerged backed by the muscle of botnets, and hackers are also renting the use of armadas of computers for illegal functions by means of ads on the Web.”

One well-known approach to combat botnets is a honeypot. Honeypots help uncover how attackers infiltrate systems. A Honeypot is basically a set of sources that one intends to be compromised with the intention to examine how the hackers break the system. Unpatched Home windows 2000 or XP machines make nice honeypots given the convenience with which one can take over such systems.

An important website to learn up on this topic extra is The Honeynet Mission (http://project.honeynet.org) which describes its personal web site’s objective as “To be taught the instruments, techniques and motives involved in laptop and community assaults, and share the teachings learned.”

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