WHAT IS A BOTNET?
Also called a "zombie army," a botnet is a large number of compromised computers that are used to generate spam, relay viruses or flood a Web server with excessive requests to cause it to fail. Criminals distribute malicious software, known as malware that can turn your computer into a “bot” (also known as a zombie).The computer is compromised via a Trojan that often works by opening an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channel that waits for commands from the person in control of the bot.. botnet (PC Magazine Encyclopedia. (n.d.))
The concept of bots did not originally include harmful behavior. Bots can be very beneficial programs when they are programmed to automate a simple task, or simplify a user's control over various programs. Of course, as with most technology, people have found a way to use them for malicious purposes such as distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, identity theft, and phishing attacks. Typically, now days botnets are being used for illegal purposes.
A common usage of botnets is spreading malware, generally done by sending spam emails using bots. This infects new computers making the botnet larger. They enable hackers to steal personal and private information without you ever even knowing. Bots can search hard drives for software and licenses installed on your system and the herder can then transfer it, virtually undetected. Their goal is to stay hidden until they are instructed to carry out a task (Merritt, M., n.d.). As of 2006, the average size of any given botnet around the world was around 20,000 machines. Although some of the larger more advanced botnets such as BredoLab, TDL-4, and Zeus are thought to contain millions of machines. (DDoSPedia. (n.d.))
One of the most threatening botnets to an individual's privacy is keylogging. These bots listen for keyboard activity and report the keystrokes to the bot herder. Some bots have built in triggers that look specifically where passwords or bank account information...