Technology is a very funny thing.
While it has given us many advances that make our lives a little bit better, it also gives us more things that we have to worry about.
It seems like for every good thing that technology gives us, there is another thing behind the corner waiting to get us.
The technology behind the internet is no different.
For every good thing that we get when it comes to the internet, there is a bad things as well that continues to burn us.
One instance of this is the botnets that are out there on the internet.
Even though we have this great expansive way to easily communicate with people around the world, black hat hackers have come up with a way to stop the flow of information by subverting the technology behind the internet and creating botnets.
In this article I will tell you what a botnet is and how one is able to be built up.
After that, I will show you how a minor botnet is still a problem for your security and how you must be able to protect your system so that you are not affected by or become part of one.
What Is A Botnet?
If you are not an expert in computer security you might need to be introduced to the term botnet for the first time.
You may have not have heard the term before but I am sure that you have felt the affect of a botnet in the past.
Botnets are a group of computers that get together to do computation at one time or in a group manner.
Another term for it is called cluster computing.
Having a computer work like this can have both good and bad implications.
There are many companies out there that will ask you to set up a program on your computer that will allow them to borrow a few CPU cycles per night, i.e., the SETI at home project.
It activates when you are not using the computer and it is used to solve some sort of problem.
It can something as simple as solving a bunch of math problems to something as complicated as breaking down a strand of DNA.
How the term botnet is used in this case however is when black hat hackers use it for an evil purpose.
The bad guys use a botnets so that they can create a way to disrupt other networks on the internet.
They will use the botnet for such purposes as to disrupt traffic going to a web site.
They do this by sending data traffic from all of the nodes that they control on the botnet.
This causes the server that is hosting the web site that they are targeting to overload and not be able to take in any more traffic, meaning that that the normal visitors to the web site will not be able to get in.
They also use the special abilities of a botnet to deliver spam messages across the internet.
This way, an ISP is not able to target one place that is sending the spam; it is coming from all over.
The worst part about botnets like these is how they are created.
The black hat hacker who creates the botnet does not ask permission like the person who is analyzing the DNA strand does.
Instead, they send little software packages over the internet in the guise of another program that the person might want.
They think that they are installing one program when in reality they are installing another.
This is called a Trojan program and it definitely gives a good reason to call the black hat hackers the bad guys.
Once you download and then install the software onto your machine, you now unwittingly become part of the botnet.
Why Is A Minor Botnet A Problem?
When you watch the news or read the security press, whenever you hear about a botnet, you will hear them talk about that particular botnet having hundreds of thousands of nodes.
That is a pretty big and dangerous botnet.
But people do not worry about a botnet until it becomes that size.
A small botnet is dangerous as well.
It doesn’t take a large botnet to be able to disrupt most web sites on the internet.
And it doesn’t take that many node computers to send millions of spam messages a day.
If you are only looking for large botnets then that means that there are thousands of smaller botnets that get to fly under the radar and do their damage.
This is because there is no one looking for them.
If we are to stop the scourge of the internet known as the botnet then we must be able to find them before they get too big.
That way, we can stop them before they cause a large amount of damage.
If you want to stop your computer from ever becoming part of a botnet then you must scan all of the software that you download.
This way you will be able to find any little surprises in the software before they are installed into your machine.