Botnets For Hire And Why They Are Not Good For Your Business

You are probably so used to getting spam messages that you do not even look at your spam folders anymore, right?

If you do venture into your spam filter then there might be some messages in there that you were not expecting.

One of these unexpected messages could be from black hat hackers offering the usage of their botnet to attack your competitors on the web.

They will say things in the email that may make it sound like less a crime and more like a sound business move but do not be mistaken – using a botnet against someone is a crime, even if you are renting it from someone else.

using a botnet could land you in jail

Black hat hackers advertising their services to normal business owners is something that would rarely happen in the past but it is happening more often now.

In this article I will go over what a botnet is, the legal ramifications if you decide that you would like to rent one, and what to do if you are contacted by these people.

What Is A Botnet?

A botnet to the uninitiated is a set of computers that are used to perform an action over the internet.

Usually the action that the botnet participates in is illegal, such as sending spam and trying to DDOS a web site. (DDOS stands for Distributed Denial Of Service attack and it allows a person to shut down the traffic to a web site by sending it so much traffic that it cannot handle it).

These botnets are put together illegally by sending a Trojan to an unsuspecting person’s computer.

This Trojan is then used to release the botnet onto the system.

Most of the time, the user of the computer will not even know that it is there – it will quietly do its job and then shut off when you are actively using the computer.

The Legal Cost Of Using A Botnet

Now hackers are trying to tempt business owners to attack their competitors with a DDOS attack by using a botnet, or they may ask them if they would like to partake in their spam service.

Of course, they do not put it in those words but it is pretty much what they are asking them to do.

If they try to tempt you with this type of offer, it is not worth it.

If you are caught conspiring in one of these types of attacks then it can mean serious jail time and no amount of extra boost to your business is worth that.

Not only will you be charged with using the botnet but you might also be charged with computer espionage since they had to illegally hack the computers to form the botnet in the first place.

This is not something that you want to be in the middle of.

What Should I Do If I’m Contacted By These People?

If someone does contact you in regards to using their botnet service, make sure that you tell the authorities right away.

This should cover your backside in the future.

Also, make sure that you save the email that they tried to contact you wit as you will want to keep hold of as much evidence as possible, just in case.

Botnets are a bane to the internet; make sure that you do not become part of the problem.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

Comments

  1. In June 2009 our web hosting company fell victim to a hired botnet. We underwent a very intense (lots of bandwidth, for a week straight) DDOS attack.

    DDOS mitigation appliances and scrips like (D)DoS-Deflate helped, but the fact we didn’t respond to their emails was the biggest factor, and the reason I believe they lost interest in attacking us.

  2. Interesting, i cant think of a single reason for myself to want to rent a botnet.
    I do wonder about one part an i have heard the same thing from others,, contact the authorities,, which ones,, its not like the local police or sheriff can or will do anything about it.
    Just who do you contact an how do you go about it ?

    • My understanding, with regards to the U.K. where I live, is that every local police force now has at least one officer dedicated to cyber crime so that would obviously be the first port of call in this country.

      Perhaps some of my American readers could comment on the procedure to follow in the U.S.?

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