What Is a Botnet? And How to Protect Yourself?

what is a botnet

Botnets are the collection of computers that have been hacked by a hacker and have been infected with a virus.

These computers can be collectively or separately used by the hacker to send spam messages, generate web traffic, steal data, and distributed denial-of-service attack. They can even charge you with a huge amount of money to be removed from the botnet.

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How Are Botnets Created?

Malware is created by a hacker to control the host computer that is placed far away. To hijack several computers, the botmaster will make sure that the software or document infected with a malware gets installed in thousands of computers.

It is all done secretly and the user will not understand the transmission of such malware using documents that look safe. The several ways in which it gets transferred are:

  • You might get a document that has been sent to you through Email. And downloading such documents will install the malware on your computer.
  • Sometimes it can also get transferred by clicking on certain Ads or pop-ups that lure people by creating panic of the computer being attacked by a virus.
  • Some unprotected sites have software that might just be a trap used to transfer the malware on your computer.

Nowadays, every house has an Internet connection and is well equipped with smartphones, home security cameras, and all of these can be hacked by the botmaster.

It just needs an installation of an illicit document to hijack your device. Once the document gets successfully installed in the device, the hacker will get a notification and your device can be remotely controlled by the hacker.

How Do Botnets Work?

The connection of several hacked computers has many illicit usages. The botnets are generally used to create fake web traffic that can lead an application or a website to crash.

These attacks are known as Distributed Denial-of-Service attacks (or DDoS) and they are generally used by competitors or rival businesses. These will make their opponent remove particular content and can also affect the website by making it crash.

Botnets are used for several purposes like:

  • Sending spam messages through email.
  • Generating heavy web traffic.
  • Taking a huge chunk of money from the person to remove their device from the botnet.

It is not necessary that a botnet has only hijacked your computer to steal your data. Sometimes they are generally created to create heavy web traffic or ping a particular website.

One computer is not enough to make a difference, so millions of devices are a part of such botnets that can give a huge result that might be harmful to the target.

Protection Against Botnets

You can follow some simple tips to prevent your device from being hijacked by the botnets-

Regularly Scan Your Device
You must install a good antivirus on your computer to protect your device. If you scan your device regularly, then all the harmful malware or threats will automatically get removed by the antivirus.

Some well-known antivirus in the market are Intego Mac Antivirus, Norton Security, BitDefender, McAfee, Clean My Mac 3, Mac Booster, Airo – Antivirus for Mac, Mac Cleaner PRO

Don't Download Email Attachments From Unknown Senders
If you receive an email from an unknown sender, then you must refrain from clicking on it or downloading an attachment included in the email. Sometimes, you might get an unexpected email from known senders.

But you shouldn’t open it without confirming it from the sender. As the device of the sender is a part of the botnet. So, downloading such attachments can also infect your device by the botnets.

And the botnets Trojan attack is mostly in the form of some important bills or invoices. So, be careful before opening any unexpected documents. Thanks to Gmail and Outlook, that filters such spam messages efficiently.

Keep Your Device Updated Regularly
Every day a new type of malware is created, and it is extremely difficult for any antivirus to stay updated with each one of them. So, the antivirus software and your system will provide updates for your device. You must run the updates regularly to protect your device.
Don't Click on Unreliable Advertisements & Websites
You must not click on any pop-ups that come your way while you are web browsing. Mostly, the hackers trick you into downloading infected software through such pop-ups or any interesting advertisement.

So, if you wish to download any free software, then only download it from reliable sources. You can also protect your device by installing anti-spyware software. It will block such malicious ads and pop-ups.

Install a Reliable Antivirus
The most efficient way to protect your device from such malware is by installing a good antivirus on your device. They are the most effective in removing such harmful threats and malware from your system.

Trojan Horse Attack

A Trojan horse malware looks like an important document like invoices, bills, etc. Once you click on it, malware will get installed on your device and the hacker will be able to control your device. It can be used to steal, modify, block or copy your data.

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It can also disturb the performance of the device or website. It is different than other computer malware, as it cannot self-replicate.

Impact of a Trojan Horse Attack

Some of the actions that can be performed by trojans are:

  • The hacker will get backdoor access to your system and it can make changes on your device. The hacker can easily delete, modify, and change any data. The system can also be rebooted remotely.
  • The trojans can steal the credentials for your online banking systems, credit cards, debit cards, and other e-commerce websites.

Protection Against Trojan Horse Attacks

You can simply protect your device against a Trojan horse attack by installing a renowned antivirus. The antivirus software can detect a Trojan attack before it can cause any harm to your PC or device. Just make sure to run the antivirus scans regularly.

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Author: Tony Weber
Tony Weber often jokes that he learned how to code before learning to walk. His father being a computer engineer, taught him everything about computers and coding since he was a child. Tony was a swift learner, and even before starting school, he knew this would be his profession.