Botnets: How They Attackand#8212And How They Can Be Defeated

By Brian P. Watson Print this article Print

The FBI has ID'd more than 1 million botnets. What can corporations do to protect themselves from an attack?

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said last week that it has identified more than 1 million captive computers.

Tracking "zombie" computers—those taken over remotely and forced to send out spam, spyware or denial-of-service attacks—presents a challenge for law enforcement, according to Shawn Henry, deputy assistant director of the FBI's Cyber Division.

Some IP addresses can be tracked to an individual, Henry says, but others cannot be tied to an active user.

And security analysts have discovered bots working inside corporations. Network security firm Support Intelligence has posted the names of more than a dozen companies with bots operating within their walls.

Henry says the private sector needs to update security software and policies to keep bots out of their networks. But how can companies defend against bots? The first thing CIOs and security executives need to know is how bots operate.

Check out the slide show below for a step-by-step look at how bot herders infect computers.

Slideshow: How Bots Attack—and How to Defend

Blog: Bots Found Inside Many Big Companies

This article was originally published on 2007-06-19
Associate Editor

Brian joined Baseline in March 2006. In addition to previous stints at Inter@ctive Week and The Net Economy, he's written for The News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla., as well as The Sunday Tribune in Dublin, Ireland. Brian has a B.A. from Bucknell University and a master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

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