What Is A Botnet, And How Does It Work?

July 26, 2020
July 26, 2020 hilartech

Botnets have become one of the biggest threats to security systems with estimates putting the figure at
around 50%. But what is a Botnet?

A botnet is a collection of internet-connected devices that include personal computers, mobile devices and internet of things devices that are infected and controlled by different types of malware.

Often users are unaware of a Botnet infecting their systems that are controlled remotely by cybercriminals that are used for specific functions.

Hence, the malicious operations stay hidden to the user. Botnets are usually used for sending email spam, engaging in click fraud campaigns, and generating malicious traffic for distributed denial of service attacks.

How Do Botnet Works?

Sending some ridiculous amounts of spam per day is just a waste of everybody’s time. According to a study in the spam industry, savvy spammers can make $3.5 million a month.

Fraud Botnets

In recent years, one of the most sophisticated botnets is 3ve which shows how the botnet has evolved. 3ve used a network of around 1.7 million computers to grab the payout on ad views of fraudulent sites.

In 2019, it was shown that botnets expand into Facebook ads with very sophisticated click fraud activities. Click fraud is a very lucrative business for those who know-how.

Botnets For DDoS Attacks

DDoS attacks are some of the most prevalent cyber attacks and Botnets almost seen tailor-made to carry them out. In February 2020, Iran fell victim to a DDoS attack which reduced the internet capacity in that country by up to 75%.

These DDoS attacks are often made to damage software infrastructure, undermine authority intimidate, or even steal information from the country under attack. As such, they are often politically motivated, while no country has yet claimed responsibility for DDoS botnet attack.

The Internet of Things (IoT) and Botnets

It has been shown that the Internet of Things opens up all kinds of doors for botnet armies to get access to more power. As more connected devices enter the market, there are many opportunities for Botnet attacks. Cheap connected devices like webcams, coffee makers, workout trackers, or no security and it is easy for cybercriminals to get access and bring them into the botnet army.

Mirai was used in the DDoS attack in 2016 that look down notable websites like Twitter and Netflix with a botnet made of over 100, 000 IoT devices.

How to Prevent a Botnet Attack?

Having proactive security measures is the best way to protect against a botnet attack. Your devices should be easily accessible, and your IoT devices should be secured and password protected. In an organization, IoT security is essential for preventing botnet attacks.

Having visibility of what’s on your network can go a long way to preventing a breach. So, while manufacturers figure out how to protect the IoT devices they produce with strong device authentication and the use of only authorized software and updates, organizations need to find a better solution. So, instead of waiting as botnets storm the IoT devices on your network, you can be proactive about security.


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