Just what are hackers, zombies, and bots? And why should you care? All three of these online threats can cause serious damage, either by getting at your private information or by gaining control of your computer. Here’s a quick summary of these dangerous three:
A hacker is a person who creates and modifies computer software and hardware for either negative or positive reasons. Criminal hackers (cybercriminals) create malware in order to commit crimes.
Hacking tools programs that crack or break computer and network security measures are often used. Hacking tools have different capabilities depending on the systems they have been designed to penetrate. System administrators have been known to use similar tools, if not the same programs, to test security and identify possible avenues for intrusion.
Some hackers use malicious techniques such as denial of service attacks for political or personal reasons. This is “hacktivism” and it can target politicians, news media, and governments across the globe.
If a computer has been compromised by hacking, it may become a zombie. Once a computer has become a zombie, a hacker can remotely control the computer. The hacker can get all kinds of private information from the computer and the user may never know. The computer can also be used by a third party to send out spam or cause other problems. It may also become part of a botnet.
Bots & Botnets
Bots are malicious software programs downloaded unknowingly onto your PC. They enable cybercriminals to control your PC to distribute spam, phishing scams, spyware, and malware—all without your knowledge.
A botnet is a collection of bot-infected PCs. Bot herders are those who control botnets. They are able to harness the power of thousands of PCs and use for devastating attacks. Frequently, bot herds rent out their botnets to other criminals.
Some of today’s larger botnets are known as Kraken, Mega-D, and Storm. Each contain thousands of bots and are capable of sending millions of pieces of spam per day. In addition to sending out spam, your PC could be used to distribute adult content, denial-of-service attacks, and malware. Also, your network could be inundated with spam if you’re not adequately protected.
How do you know if your computer has been attacked by a hacker, become a zombie, or is part of a botnet? You can’t always tell right away, but your PC may slow down or crash or it may not show any signs at all. That’s why it’s so important to use industry-leading security software, like Trend Micro ™ Titanium™. It’s strong, fast, easy- to- use protection that will keep you safe from hackers, zombies, bots, and more.