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Botnets Use for Launching Cyber Attacks Rising

According to the Internet security experts, botnet use is rising and it should not surprise anyone because they are cheap and quite effective.

Damballa, an Internet security company, commented on the increasing use of botnets for launching attacks and said that 7.3 Million instances of bots involved in malicious activities were recorded in a single day of January 2008, a significant increase from an average 333,000 recorded in a day in August 2006. Besides, an e-mail management company, Cloudmark, revealed that botnet used to deliver spam through e-mails increased from 64% in June 2007 to 91% in the beginning of March 2008, as reported by USATODAY in the third week of March 2008.

Meantime, security experts said that botnet is a widely used and key tool of cyber criminals. It is a network of compromised computers having virus and controlled from a remote place without the knowledge of users. Botnet could be a network of thousands of personal computers, which are capable to do all kinds of nefarious activities like sending spam, spreading viruses, and crashing Websites by attacking them visitors. Another widely employed use of botnet is launching Denial of Service (DoS) attacks.

As per security experts, cyber extortionists have successfully launched DoS attacks that involved directing thousands of bots to a targeted Website with illegitimate requests to block other users from accessing that site, as reported by USATODAY in the third week of March 2008.

Dmitri Alperovitch, Director of Intelligence Analysis for Secure Computing, said that DoS attacks are launched against big corporate enterprises by using armies of botnets, reported USATODAY in the third week of March 2008.

Alperovitch also said that in the end of February 2008, over two dozen gambling Websites were detected to be attacked by a large number of botnets that seemed to be attempts of extorting money from gamblers.

Somesh Jha, Chief Scientist, NovaShield, an online security company, said that the world of botnets is rapidly transforming and in coming years, attacks will worsen, as reported by USATODAY in the third week of March 2008.

Security vendors also confirmed that cyber criminals are engaged in developing sophisticated techniques using botnets and during March 2008, a botnet comprising of machines and human has been identified, as reported by THEINDEPENDENT on March 22, 2008.

Related article: Botnet Misuses Google Analytics

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