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What Is Botnet? Why are they a threat to our network security?

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Our world has extended the levels of technologies. That means that the latest technologies are creating a buzz everywhere. People all around the globe are waiting for the latest versions of their favorite devices. So in such an environment, the device product companies are continuously hurrying to make new technology products.

In such a hustle, they often forget that with new technology arises new threats, and to face these threats, there must be ways. So they must form the most secure technologies and provide accurate information to be safe always. One of these pieces of equipment that were introduced and proved to be malicious is Botnets.

Although botnets are not so new as we can say that they were made in the year 1995, so we can say that the earliest Botnet was formed not more than 24 years ago. So even if they are not very much new, their techniques and formats are improved like new software only that has just been introduced.

These botnets are not at all safe to use. They are a significant threat as they can violate our devices in many ways. So in the following article, we will briefly discuss how Botnets have become a threat to our network security. But first of all, we need to know what a Botnet is?

What Are Botnets?

Botnets are a merged word derived from robots (bot for short) and networks (net for short). Google defines it as:

“A network of private computers infected with malicious software and controlled as a group without the owners’ knowledge, e.g., to send spam.”

Hence, we can say that botnets are life-threatening devices that can cause much harm to us. Primarily botnets are a figure of Internet-connected systems, each of which is running one or more bots. The term is usually used with a harmful or malicious association.

So Botnets are devices that are used for malicious activities always and are a green light for the attackers. Therefore, it has become imperative that we look for some methods by which we can prevent ourselves from Botnets.

There are many ways by which a Botnet can attack and harm us. These ways are discussed in this article below, along with issues and threats of Botnet. The report also focuses on the prevention that must be taken to solve these problems.

threats

We have discussed that Botnets are an immense threat to our systems. Now we will further discuss this that what is the reason for Botnets to be so dangerous? What harm can they do in reality? Some of these dangers are given as follows:

  • Spam
  • Phishing
  • Online fraud
  • Data theft
  • Denial of service attacks
  • Zombie network

Spams:

Spams are what is the biggest threat in today’s internet world. They are the quickest ways for hackers to penetrate our systems. They firstly send a spam email to our account. This way, when we click on these spams, our systems get injected, thereby hacked by them.

Now hackers use botnets to send spam. The extensive network of botnets can send different spam emails to many people at the same time if used by a hacker. Hence it can be perilous if a botnet gets in the wrong hand, i.e., the hands of the hackers.

Phishing:

Phishing is the deceitful effort to attain sensitive data such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by camouflaging as a trustworthy body in electronic communication (EC). Phishing is rapidly growing and becoming the favorite way for hackers to attack our systems.

Now hackers have also found a way to use botnets for phishing. These hackers use botnets to allocate malware such as viruses to take control of a regular computer or software user. By taking the power of someone’s private network, they have an unlimited right to access their delicate information, such as passwords and login data to accounts.

Online fraud:

You must know how people commit frauds in businesses, companies, and industries. Now they have also found ways to commit frauds online. Yes, you read correctly. Online scams are now happening rapidly, and people might be trapped in this easily. It includes concealing information or providing incorrect data to fool users for money, property, and legacy.

In botnets, the victim willingly and voluntarily provides the hackers’ data, money, or property. Ad fraud is a significant type of fraud accessed through botnets. It works by forcing many infested devices to visit fake websites and click on ads cited there. For every click, the hacker acquires a fraction of the promotion costs.

Data theft:

Data theft is the work of thieving data and information in one’s computer from an innocent victim with the intention of bargaining confidentiality or attaining private material. Data theft is increasing the problems for singular computer users, as well as big corporate companies.

The attackers and hackers who produce and custom botnets to turn network users into gullible data theft victims are becoming increasingly refined. With a few strokes on a keyboard, the developers of botnets, called “bot-herders” or “bot-masters,” can connect a massive quantity of processing power and cause turmoil on a large scale.

Denial of service attacks:

A massive threat in the field of IT is denial of service attacks. A denial-of-service attack is a security affair that happens when an assailant stops authentic users from opening specific processor networks, devices, services, computers, or other IT resources.

A Denial of Service (DoS) attack includes a solo instrument to either strike a software and cause a vulnerability or overflow a targeted source with packets, applications, or demands. A DDoS attack uses numerous linked devices by botnets to create malicious effects on the systems.

Zombie network:

Yes, the written text is correct! It is called a zombie network because a compromised computer becomes a zombie,i.e., it is wirelessly organized through standards-based networking practices such as HTTP and Internet Relay Chat (IRC).

Cybercriminals can also lend their botnets to other criminals to penetrate any system. That is also called a zombie network because botnets that connect many networks, compromised by attackers, attack the users.

Preventions:

Now that we know that there are many threats that we are dealing with in the field of botnets, it has also become essential to find some preventions and precautions for them. Following are some preventions from the threats of botnets:

  • Use Antivirus
  • Care with email attachment
  • Ignore ads and pop-ups
  • Internet security software
  • Regular Updates
  • Install Firewalls

1. Use Antivirus:

We can use antivirus to prevent botnets. An antivirus software, when downloaded, do not let such kind of threats to touch our systems. Hence we must download antivirus software as soon as we install new windows on our devices.

2. Care with email attachment:

It is also crucial that we take care that we do not click on any email attachment that might show up. We should always first look for the authentication of the source of the email. When once assured, then only click on it. Hence try to be careful that it is not a trap.

3. Ignore ads and pop-ups:

Another way we can prevent ourselves from the threats of botnets is by ignoring any unimportant ads or pop-ups that appear when you open a website. If you are on that site for some information, they also avoid any advertisement pop-ups that may arise there. These ads may be spam.

4. Internet security software:

To be on the safe side, it is also important to use internet security software. Internet security software protects our systems from all sorts of computer viruses and different malware. Therefore, it will also protect your system from botnets. Thus when using your devices, try first to add internet security software.

4. Regular Updates:

Another effective way of dealing with the threats of botnets is by updating your systems and devices regularly. Try to update your systems regularly because almost all threats are removed and stopped from entering the system only. Hence constantly update your system.

5. Install Firewalls:

Last but not least, it is also essential that you install firewalls on your devices. With the help of a firewall, your systems and devices will become secure and protected. Hence it will be protected from all sorts of viruses, malware, and even botnets. So using a firewall is a very productive way of securing your systems and devices from botnet errors.

Summary:

The world of the internet is full of threats. One of these threats includes botnets whose vulnerabilities are defined above. And if you want to be on the safe side, you should always apply the following preventions mentioned above. They will keep you protected.

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Waqas is a cybersecurity journalist and writer who has a knack for writing technology and online privacy-focused articles. He strives to help achieve a secure online environment and is skilled in writing topics related to cybersecurity, AI, DevOps, Cloud security, and a lot more. As seen in: Computer.org, Nordic APIs, Infosecinstitute.com, Tripwire.com, and VentureBeat.

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