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Constant Growth in Botnets Poses a Serious Threat, ENISA

ENISA, i.e., European Network Information and Security Agency, warned on November 27, 2007 that there was a massive growth in e-crime that often involved compromised computers.

Press and Communications Officer of ENISA, Ulf Bergstrom, said that while the botnet chain was extending continuously, users affected generally take too long to realize that something is wrong, Tech.co.uk reported this on November 27, 2007. People don't seem to have enough protective measures and often don't care about software updates, Bergstrom said.

It is important that member states of the European Union take the botnet threat seriously, otherwise digital crime could surpass all good efforts, Bergstrom added.

Botnets that are formed with a number of 'bots' or software robots joined into chains run automatically and autonomously and are obtained from computers that hackers hijack. The botnet creator controls the hijacked PCs remotely and generally uses them to send spam. Sometimes, the hacker may store illegal data on the compromised computer or steal the password and login details of such computers.

According to some figures that ENISA provided, about six million bot-infected PCs exist all over the world with Germany as the third biggest country with infected computers.

The common infection methods to build bots are browser exploits at 65%, e-mail attachments (13%), exploits of operating system (11%), and malicious downloaded files (9%). These days, browsing a malware-hosted Web page is the most risky method to infect computers.

The security agency said that botnets, which involve numerous computers from various countries makes their tracking extremely difficult. Tech.co.uk published this on November 27, 2007.

Using some statistics from Sophos, ENISA found that approximately 30,000 malware carrying Websites emerge daily that tries to spread infection to computers. Heisesecurity.co.uk published this in a press statement on November 29, 2007. Recently, Google carried out a research that found that out of 4.5 Million assessed URLs, 10,000 were malicious.

According to ENISA, botnets pose a serious problem to business, governments and society. Estimates suggest that around 1,000 unique Botnet C&C servers are operated all the time. A normal C&C server commands and controls 20,000 PCs that ranges between 10 and 300,000.

Related article: Connecticut School Teacher Succeeded in Proving Her Innocence

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