Semalt Expert Explains How To Protect Your Computer From Botnets

Nik Chaykovskiy, the Semalt Customer Success Manager, states that spam emails have become an ordinary thing for every internet user. The majority of internet users receive many spam emails daily that are usually got to the spam folder. Thanks to the modern-day spam filters, users can eliminate the most of the spam emails. One may wonder about the source and motive behind these spam emails. In most cases, these emails come from a botnet. Botnets are one of the worst threats to the inherent browser's security. In the recent, FBI reported that in the US, 18 computers were compromised by hackers every single second.

What Is a Botnet?

A botnet consists of many 'zombie computers,' which are under control of an attacker, usually without the owner's notice. An attacker creates a bot and sends it to these personal computers. From here, they can send command and control C&C signals from a server. A computer which is infected by this malware is no longer under the owner's commands. The attacker can now execute a command like a DDoS attack on a particular website. The bot forms the functional unit of a botnet. From coding this app, the attacker employs black hat digital marketing means to get it installed on a victim's computer. Some of the tricks they use include bait and switch ads. For instance, Facebook applications from malicious sources usually contain infected files. In some other cases, these people send spam emails. Some of these emails include Trojans, infected files or attachments. Upon installing the malware on the victim's computer, the attacker has to use a client program on a remote location to send instructions to the bots. A network of botnets can contain over 20,000 independent bots executing a similar task. The attacker then sends the infection to a command and control (C&C) server through:

  • C&C to bots: This method involves sending instructions to the network of bots and receiving them directly to the server. It is a vertical model of communication.
  • Peer to peer. A bot can communicate directly with another bot. This forms a horizontal way of sending instructions and receiving feedback. In this method, the bot-master can control the overall botnet.
  • Hybrid: This tactic is a combination of the two methods described above.

Upon launching a successful botnet, the attacker can perform cyber-crimes such as stealing your data. Personal information like emails and passwords can leak through these means. Commonly, credit card theft, as well as loss of passwords, occur through botnet attacks. Users who store sensitive data such as login credentials, financial information as well as online payment information risk to being attacked by these hackers.