What is a botnet?

By | May 7, 2011
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“The term bot is short for robot. Criminals distribute malicious software (also known as malware) that can turn your computer into a bot (also known as a zombie). When this occurs, your computer can perform automated tasks over the Internet, without you knowing it.

Criminals typically use bots to infect large numbers of computers. These computers form a network, or a botnet.

Criminals use botnets to send out spam e-mail messages, spread viruses, attack computers and servers, and commit other kinds of crime and fraud. If your computer becomes a part of a botnet, your computer might slow down and you might be inadvertently helping criminals.”

Source: Microsoft’s “What is a botnet?”

We couldn’t have explained it better. Botnets are just one of the many good reasons to keep your antivirus and antispyware up-to-date; and why you should never click on links in emails from people you don’t know. Don’t open attachments in emails unless you’re positive you know who those emails came from — and you were expecting an attachment. If you follow those suggestions, your computer will never be part of a botnet. If you don’t? Can you spell Z O M B I E?

3 thoughts on “What is a botnet?

  1. Rachel Henderson

    And people should know that some of these bots are so resistant to removal, that sometimes a complete reformat is needed. It seems that bots are increasing at an alarming rate and in just one week, I had three email buddies that I had to warn. Only one took care of the problem. And they too had to reformat. When you start getting frequent emails from your “friend”, and it’s only a short message/ad with an embedded link, you know they have a bot. Never click the link and do warn your friends when it happens. Many times they simply do not know.

    1. infoave Post author

      I’m not aware of any botnets that would cause anyone to format their computer and reinstall Windows. If you have specifics, I’d like to know what they are.


  2. Ken Roberts

    Me and a friend use a code with all the links we might send each other that way we know it is on the up and up . this is cool I am sitting here in the senior center at the YMCA and using a computer and yes I do not use my pass words here, only at home. right after the link I hit the space bar so as not ruin the link and type in the code word so my friend knows it is coming from me .


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