Bad bots, bad bots, whatcha gonna do

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By Robin Dishon, ESET senior writer

Imagine an army of malware-infected computers, all marching in lockstep as they wreak internet havoc. Under the control of a single criminal, an organized crime ring or a rogue nation, these zombified machines have the ability to send spam email, distribute spyware to steal account information, and even take down websites with distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

We’re talking about botnets, and they’re in the news again.

The last time botnets made headlines, it was because last year’s massive DDoS attack on Dyn (an internet infrastructure provider), knocked out access to Amazon, Netflix, eBay and Twitter, to name just a few.  

This attack was unusual not only for its scale – blocking services for millions of online users – but because internet of Things devices such as DVRs and alarm systems were used to create the botnet.

Basically, any connected device, from your computer to your car, are potential targets for botnet attack. Because botnets gain strength through numbers, it’s vital that everyone take steps to prevent infection:

  • Keep all your software and hardware updated, including your router. Outdated or unpatched networks and internet security systems are vulnerable to infection.
  • Use internet security that includes firewall protection, which filters communications between computers and the internet, and botnet protection, which detects and blocks botnet-related activity. Both are included in ESET Internet Security and ESET Multi-Device Security
  • Be wary of apps, social posts and files; check the source before you click or download.
  • For businesses, ESET Threat Intelligence service provides a botnet activity report, including a list of known Command and Control servers involved in botnet management.

Botnets have caused some of the costliest security events in history, so forewarned is forearmed. Read on for the latest news.


Want to know more about how ESET protects users, devices and networks? Learn about ESET security technologies, including botnet protection, here.

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