You may hear the word ‘bot’ used in conversations, especially around cybersecurity. But often we use it without really knowing exactly what it means or how it originated.
The term botnet is short for robot network. It describes a network of computers that are infected by malware. This malware is controlled by a single party, known as the bot-herder. And each computer that is under that control is known as a bot.
Every computer on the botnet can be controlled from one central point or location. Commands are issued for criminal acts to be carried out at the same time. These botnets are often made up of millions of bots. This enables large-scale attacks to happen without the effort and coordination of multiple parties. It also includes the ability to perform simultaneous updates and behavior modifications to the bots as well as attack commands. Bot-herders can often rent out segments of their botnet to cybercriminals for financial gain.
While not limited to the following actions, these are some of the more common criminal activities that bots can perform.
DDos Attacks – A distributed denial of service attack is when an overload of requests is directed at a targeted network or server. This then renders the network inaccessible to its legitimate users.
Targeted Intrusion – When a smaller botnet targets a very specific high-value part of an organization such as financial data, R&D, or other intellectual property. It can also target customer information.
Financial Breach – These botnets are designed to target credit card information and directly steal funds.
Email Spam – While this is one of the older botnet attack methods, it is one of the most common. Botnets will send out phishing and spam messages with malware to large, targeted audiences. One person clicking on a malicious link can result in financial gain for the criminal.
The sophistication and adaptability of bots make them a threat to cybersecurity in many aspects. Being proactive in your approach will provide better results when it comes to keeping your personal identity and the security of your business intact.
AllSafe IT recommends the following best practices to increase your chances of avoiding a breach:
AllSafe IT is proud to have spent over 15 years providing IT services to hundreds of companies. Our specialized services are uniquely tailored to provide our customers with the reliability, protection, and fast services needed to ensure 100% uptime and maximized data security. From comprehensive and preventative cybersecurity strategies to 24/7 customer support, AllSafe IT understands the unique needs of businesses.