BotNets are networks of computers, operated by hackers and cyber criminals and capable of being used to conduct malicious activities. The chilling fact is that a botnet is made up of regular, often unknowing computers, just like yours. A computer joins the botnet when it is infected by a virus, or other type of malware, which opens a secret communication channel between the local computer and the “Botmaster”, the criminal mastermind operating the network.
Across this secret communication channel, cyber criminals can steal private information from the local computer, and also direct its resources to conduct malicious activities: hitting other websites with traffic to bring them down (a DDoS attack), sending spam emails that may contain scams or malware, performing fake clicks on advertisements to generate fraudulent advertising revenue, and more.
This happens every day on corporate networks. A local computer is infected, behind the firewall, and that computer joins a botnet. For a local user, it may appear that the computer is working slowly or behaving strangely – or there may be no symptoms at all. It can take days, weeks or months until the breach is discovered. Until then, that local computer is in the hands of a criminal.
So how do you know if your network is vulnerable? Ixia is a leader in network security testing, helping thousands of organizations identify security threats, including botnets. Ixia have compiled an infographic illustrating the inner workings of botnet infections on a corporate network.
Knowing what to look for is the critical first step in implementing protections on your network.