Botnets Turned Evil- What all you should know

Have you ever heard that even good technologies can be used for bad purposes and one of its example it Botnet. There are many people with bad intentions and bit of intelligence who are using botnet for evil means. You should be aware of such attacks but how? What do you know about botnet and botnet attacks? How can they affect your system? Is there any additional information you should know? Questions about any threat can be endless. So in this article you’ll get to know about botnets as much as possible.

What do you mean by botnets?

You can define botnets as a number of internet connected devices each of which is running one or more than one bots. They are the network of hijacked computer devices that carry out different types of cyberattacks and scams. Bots are used as a tool for automating mass attacks such as Malware distribution, data theft and sever crashing etc. Botnets use your devices for scamming others or causing disruptions all that without your permission.

Working of botnet

To know more about botnets you should also know about its working which is mentioned right here.

Botnets are built with the intention of growing, automating and speeding up hacker’s ability for carrying out attacks on a large scale. Many attacks can be carried out on local levels because of botnets even if there is a single hacker or a group. There are some other machines that can help hackers for carrying out their attacks.

Here bots are devices infected with malicious codes that becomes part of a network, infected devices controlled by hackers.

Zombie computers can be referred to each malware infected user device that has been taken over for the use in botnet. These devices operate under the commands designed by bot herder.

Bot herder controls a collective of hijacked devices with the help of remote commands. After the compilation of bots commands are given by the herder for the next action.


There are three stages of building a botnet

  1. Prep and Expose : The first step used by hacker is exploiting the weakness of the victim in a website, application or even human behaviour. Hackers then expose the users to the malware.
  2. Infect : Devices of the victim user are infected with Malware by using techniques like social engineering to download Trojan virus or by manipulating them into visiting and downloading anything from malicious websites. By that they can take control of the device.
  3. Activate : Once the above 2 stages are carried out then takes place the final stage, I.e., attacking. All the infected machines are organized into a network of bots that they can remotely manage. Hackers can infect more than thousand and ten thousand of computers with such technique.

Once all these stages are executes the zombie computers allows hackers to have admin level operation access like gathering the personal data of user, sending files, reading as well as writing system data, installing and running any application, monitoring activities of the user and more.

Types of botnets:

Botnets are used an an ideal tool for carrying out many cybercrimes and scams on a large scale. Some of the common botnet schemes are mentioned below:

  • Phishing : Phishing scams are done by hackers who pretend to be trusted people and organizations for tricking users into exposing their valuable information. A large scale phishing campaign is required for carrying such scams and stealing account information of their target like email login information and bank login details.
  • Brute force attacks : Such attacks are carried out by running programs designed with the intention of breaching web accounts by force. Credential stuffing, dictionary attacks are used for exploiting weak user passwords and accessing as well as stealing their valuable data.
  • DDos or Distribution Denial of Services : These attacks are based on crashing servers by overloading them with web traffic. Zombie computers swarm the websites as well as other online services which leads to taking down of sites for some time.

Protecting yourself from botnets:

Here are some tips to protect your devices from botnets:

  1. Always go for unique and long passwords so that it will be easier for anyone to crack it. Make sure to use all the characters, upper and lower case alphabets and numbers and don’t use names.
  2. You should not download every attachment you receive. Only important attachments should be downloaded and that too after a thorough investigation of that mail and the sender’s mailing address. Use antivirus for scanning all the files and attachments.
  3. Don’t purchase any security system just because it is cheap. Check all its features and pick according for optimum level security. There are many antivirus that won’t offer you enough features even after being super expensive. So don’t go for the price but features offered.