Would you know if your computer was a part of a botnet? Perhaps a better question to ask is: Do you know what a botnet is and why it’s dangerous?
A botnet is a network of computers that have been set up or hijacked, without the owner’s knowledge, to do harm. These computers are used to spread spam, viruses or other malware, collect data, or participate in distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
Your computer becomes a robot (bot) when you aren’t controlling all of its actions. In addition, to being out of control, the actions on your computer can be monitored. This means that passwords, credit card and bank information, social security numbers, and other confidential information is gathered by the botnet cybercriminals.
How does your computer become a part of a botnet? If you don’t have great Internet security software, you are vulnerable. If your Internet connection isn’t adequately protected or your security software doesn’t thoroughly check websites and emails, your computer may become part of a botnet.
For example, a Trojan horse – a type of malware to perform a desirable outcome – could be installed on your computer when you download an unsafe file. The mastermind controller of the botnet could then order your computer to do his bidding. Very Zombie-esque. And there’s a good chance you’ll have no idea that your PC has been hijacked.
If your Internet connection seems slow for no apparent reason, a botnet may be to blame. The botnet may be using your Internet connection to do something harmful. At this point, you should disconnect from the Internet and close your email. Try running a free tool like Housecall to make sure your computer is free of these buggers. Hijackthis will give you a log of existing files and possibly dangerous ones. After you’re machine is all cleaned up, you should be sure to install a strong preventative.
Trend Micro™ Titanium™ offers a better way to stop Internet threats by using the Trend Micro™ Smart Protection Network™ infrastructure. The Smart Protection Network blocks threats by using a cloud-client architecture and a worldwide network of threat detection sensors that find dangers such as malicious files, spam, phishing, web threats, denial of service attacks, web vulnerabilities, data loss, and combined attacks before they reach your computer. It’s fast, always up-to-date, and doesn’t slow you or your computer down.