Botnets act as a force multiplier for individual attackers, cyber-criminal groups, and nation-states looking to disrupt or break into their targets’ systems. By definition, they are a collection of any type of internet-connected device that an attacker has compromised. Commonly used in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, botnets can also take advantage of their collective computing power to send large volumes of spam, steal credentials at scale, or spy on people and organizations.
A botnet attack can be devastating. Last year, the Mirai botnet shut down major swathes of the internet, including Twitter, Netflix, CNN, and other major sites, as well as major Russian banks and the entire country of Liberia. The botnet took advantage of unsecured internet of things (IoT) devices such as security cameras, installing malware that then attacked the DYN servers that route internet traffic.
Read more about botnets and why CSO’s Maria Korolov thinks that they aren’t going away anytime soon on CSO.