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Botnets appear as a Huge Threat in 2011

The Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC) 2011 Emerging Cyber Threats Report was released in recent times in which it predicated that one of the most important threats for 2011 would be botnets.

The report stated that botnets are the malicious software that hit systems and run automatically to hit large number of computers for harmful activity like selling login credentials, sending spam or infecting other machines.

Further, the report claimed that botnets have always been a huge concern because of their sophistication, automation and scale. Shockingly, botnets produce 95% of the world's spam and have infected around 100 million systems. It makes defending against botnets tough.

Also, the report mentions one latest trend in the world of botnets and that is the release of huge botnet attacks to conceal more targeted malware, which are used to conduct targeted malware attacks. For example, hackers will either launch an extensive attack or take advantage of the latest widespread attack to send similar malware directed towards a particular organization. This makes their targeted attacks difficult to locate or trace.

In 2010, companies like Google, Adobe and some other in the commercial sector stated that they have been hit by the highly targeted attack called Aurora. As per the report, the Aurora botnet was aimed towards large international businesses with the goals of network infiltration theft of business secrets and modification of critical system data.

Mustaque Ahamad (GTISC Director) stated that botnets could also cause harm to infrastructure and physical systems. One of the major areas of concern is healthcare system, as per the news by Infosecurity.com on October 14, 2010.

He added that hospital systems are being poisoned with compromised machines such as MRIs. Hackers want to steal data and resources. There are no grounds to think that they won't follow other things that can be monetized like medical data.

In addition, he said there must be a shift from the reactive mode of addressing cyber security threats to a proactive approach to understand new threats and develop effective ways to contain them, as per the news by sify.com on October 8, 2010.

Related article: Botnet Misuses Google Analytics

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