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What are Botnet DDoS attacks?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Jeanh, Aug 17, 2015.

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    Botnets are responsible for much of the online fraud, scams and hack attacks that we see today. Consisting of networks of hijacked computers, and remotely controlled by hackers, they’ve been around a while and they’re going to be around a while longer too. That said, it’s relatively easy to ensure your computer doesn’t become a ’slave’ device to a hacker’s plans.

    Imagine kicking back on your sofa and catching up with the latest news on TV. You watch a story about a group of government organisations and companies that had their websites taken down by hackers becuase they supported the ’wrong’ side in a Middle Eastern conflict. The hackers had launched a huge distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the websites causing series financial and reputational damage. And you played a part in it too – but you had no idea.

    How is that? The attacks were launched using a botnet. Bot is short for robot and a botnet is network of computers that have been infected with malware that hackers use to send out spam email messages, spread viruses, attack computers and servers, and commit other kinds of crime and fraud.

    What are botnets?
    Botnets are typically large network of hijacked computers from all around the world that have one thing in common; they have been infected with malware and are remotely controlled by hackers without the computer owners being aware of it. A computer owner may notice their computer is running a bit slow but that’s about the only clue that it has become a ’zombie’ or bot.

    The computers are infected because they are vulnerable or unprotected. Hackers typically write bespoke software designed to identify these vulnerable computers and then send it out into the internet on a search. Physical location is no barrier, unprotected computers could be as far afield as Korea, Greenland and Chile.

    The hacker simply runs his fingers across the keyboard to punch in a series of instructions and the slave computers then begin carrying out commands. This can be instructions to continually flood a website with traffic and when thousands do this at the same time, its known as a DDoS attack, because the websites collapse under the weight of the demand.

    What for are botnets used?
    Sometimes the motives are political and often they’re financial with companies blackmailed into calling off the attack. Or the malware might be programmed to do something else such as download and install software that will inundate users with advertisements for ographic web sites, junk e-mail, or spam, pushing everything from cheap Viagra to get-rich-quick business schemes. The malware can also be programmed to download spyware which mines online browsing habits and siphons sensitive data including passwords, e-mail addresses and financial information. However botnets can also be used for covert intelligence gathering and attacks against Internet-connected critical infrastructure.

    Some botnets can consist of hundreds and thousands of computers, millions of computers or in some cases just a few thousand computers. But its not just home computers users who are affected. A few years back 10,000 infected PCs where discovered inside a Fortune 100 company network acting as a botnet.

    Damage caused by botnets
    According to some industry estimates, botnets have caused over $110 billion in losses globally. The FBI, Please or Register to view links to the US Senate subcommittee on crime and terrorism estimated that approximately 500 million computers are infected globally each year, translating into 18 victims per second.

    A recent botnet that was taken down was the Please or Register to view links botnet which was designed to steal online banking and other credentials from infected computers. The cyber villains behind it created a command-and-control infrastructure with a Please or Register to view links, making the botnet more resilient to takeover attempts.

    That said the U.S. Department of Justice, working with foreign law enforcement agencies and private security companies, took control of the botnet which was estimated to consist of between 500,000 and 1 million infected computers. However, recently a Please or Register to view links that uses a variant of Gameover Zeus and it seems its creators are focusing on rebuilding the botnet, rather than stealing money from users, for now. This is characteristic of many botnets that are taken down, they Please or Register to view links but typically in a slightly altered form.

    How can the end user protect his PC from botnet attachs?
    Botnets are attractive to cybercriminals because they can leverage the power of lots of computers and lots of bandwidth that they wouldn’t be able to afford on their own, in short they steal bandwidth in order to spam, steal identities and money or infects users with spyware.

    Protecting against botnets for the average home computer user is often simply a case of maintenance and common sense. Firstly software needs to be updated, and operating system pâtches applied rigorously and secondly don’t install software that says it’s an antivirus program, because most of the time, it’s actually malware.

    These are two of the main ways that botmasters can take command of host systems. In the case of malware disguised as antivirus software, the hacker’s tactic is one of trickery and social engineering. But many bots gain access to a host system through the exploitation of programming weaknesses, hence the need to keep software updated.

    Antivirus keeps your PC safe
    And of course it’s a solid idea to run Please or Register to view links which will pick up attempts to infiltrate malware. It will also identify websites that have exploits planted in them which is another favourite trick used by botnet creators. This could be via downloads that you think are pictures or môviês, or through links that you click in email or instant messages (IM), or on a social network.

    An antivirus programme will scan and monitor your computer for known viruses and spyware. And make sure your antivirus software also contains a firewall which is essential in putting a protective barrier between your computer and the internet. Turning it off for even a minute increases the risk that your PC will be infected with malware.

    Experts within the security industry widely agree that botnets are here to stay, that they’re a consequence of a connected world in which millions and millions of computers are linked together via the internet. They also agree that the reason why botnets are so pervasive and ubiquitous is because of poor computer security, which botnet creators can exploit with relative ease. If you don’t want your computer to become a zombie, a slave or bot in some wider nefarious network dedicated to carrying out fraudulent and scamming activity its a good idea to make sure you’re practising good security.
  2. Meron ako nan hindi ko lang magamit.:mask:
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