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US Surfers Need to be More Aware About Threat from Botnets

The US-based NCSA (National Cyber Security Alliance), on April 10, 2008, published a research that revealed that 71% of end-users are alarmingly ignorant about defending themselves against the danger of botnets.

Botnets, which are armies of zombie computers connected with a network, are established, without their owners' knowledge to forward virus-laced spam to other PCs connected to the Internet.

Terming the findings as 'alarming', NCSA pointed out how botnets are rapidly becoming a preferred weapon of cyber criminals and the fastest growing danger on the Internet.

Ron Teixeira, Executive Director, NCSA, said that in June 2007, the FBI had identified over 1 Million infected computers that could potentially be compromised and added to a network of bots to subsequently target other computers to spread malicious software or attack the nation's infrastructure, as reported by vnunet on April 10, 2008.

Teixeira further added that botnets are a constant threat to end-users and to homeland security. He said that people's unsecured computers greatly help cyber criminals to design ploys against not just the victim's system but even against other machines on the Internet.

Ira Winkler, President, Internet Security Advisors Group, called on the need for a basic change in the attitude of people to effectively utilize botnets. According to Winkler, it requires much more than technology, education and enforcement of law, as reported by silicon on April 10, 2008.

Jordana Siegel, Deputy Director of outreach and awareness, National Cyber Security Division of the US Department of Homeland Security, too said that there was a constant rise in malicious botnets, as reported by silicon on April 10, 208.

According to Winkler, the most suitable approach to combat this threat is penalizing those users who let their PCs get infected and by making people take increased responsibility.

The research also revealed how much Americans are unaware that the security of their computers contributes to national security and in preventing cyber crime. However, most of the respondents think their computers are not likely to affect the nation's homeland security compared to 51% who think a hacker could use their PC to launch online attacks.

Related article: US Passes Baton to Asia in Spam Relay

ยป SPAMfighter News - 16-04-2008

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