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We`re at War with Botnets
By: Joe Eitel
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    Table of Contents:
  • We`re at War with Botnets
  • What is a Botnet?
  • Culprits for Spreading Botnets
  • Fighting Back

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    We`re at War with Botnets

    (Page 1 of 4 )

    There is no doubt that personal computers have to endure many threats when they are connected to a network and/or the Internet by consistently battling viruses, worms, and malware. And now you can add perhaps the most dangerous threat: botnets. If you've never heard of this threat, or if you know what they are and want more information on combating them, keep reading.

    Botnets are deceptive in that they are hard to detect, and if you think you can rely on your anti-virus or anti-spam software, think again. That's because anti-virus and anti-spam software have difficulty detecting them.

    In many cases, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), web service providers, and domain registrars are to blame for botnets spreading across corporate networks or the Internet. These businesses haven't been aggressive in attacking botnets because of privacy issues and potential loss of revenue.

    Botnet herders, or crackers, create botnets to control personal computers so that they can wreak havoc for businesses, government, and individuals. Originally known for using Internet Relay Channels (IRC) to spread their misery, botnets have gotten more sophisticated in that they use the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) protocol. Since so many businesses use HTTP to communicate via the Internet, it's often overlooked to suspect that botnets reside on their networks.

    However, ISPs are now starting to take botnets seriously because millions of computers are infected. They now realize botnets can potentially damage national security or cause businesses to lose revenue through malicious attacks.

    One way that ISPs are fighting back is joining the MAAWG (Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group). This organization aims to eradicate botnets by developing best practices and teaching users how to clean their computers. In addition, law enforcement agencies and software companies, such as Symantec's Norton AntiBot, are also combating botnets.

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