What is a Botnet?

General   /   Apr 6th, 2020   /  A+ | a-

The internet is a vital part of society now and central to our work and personal lives. This does not mean it is without its security concerns though. While you may have come across things like ransomware or phishing before, you might not have heard of a Botnet attack. Even if you have heard a friend mention Botnets, you might not be sure what it all means.

Botnet 101


The first thing to know about Botnets is that they were actually designed for positive reasons and play a key role in how the internet functions. They provide the technical foundations for websites to run and perform the repetitive actions needed for many apps or online services. In simple terms, Botnets are a string of computers connected together to perform certain online functions.

What about Botnet dangers?


This is where things get a little murkier! Some cyber-criminals have taken this good Botnet tech and started to use it for bad purposes. If a malicious Botnet gains access to your PC or laptop, then it can cause a lot of damage. This is normally done through pieces of malicious code being placed onto your computer through a Botnet. The most common ways it actually happens is through direct hacks into your computer or online programs searching the net for security flaws to expose on your PC.

What else do you need to know about a Botnet?


In many cases, the main aim of a bad Botnet is to add your own computer to the master network. The issue here is that, once done, this leaves your computer under the control of whoever is behind the whole Botnet. It is not just stealing personal data that a Botnet can use your computer for though. It may also use it to help with DDoS attacks on websites or send spam email around the world for example.

How can you stay safe from a Botnet attack?


The biggest problem for many people here is that they don't even know they have been attacked by a Botnet! With this in mind, the best protection is often yourself. Make sure to keep an eye out for any problems with how your computer is running or anything odd about it. If you suspect that there is a Botnet issue, then take it to a professional computer repair company to be cleaned up. One other major thing to do in order to combat this issue is to always have up to date anti-virus software and operating systems installed on your PC or laptop. It is also very important to be aware of any websites you visit or any links you click while online.