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Author Topic: What are botnets?  (Read 779 times)
salinaxay
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March 31, 2012, 10:38:44 PM
 #1

I am sorry if this has been posted before, but can someone explain to me in simple words what botnets are and how they work?

I am still new to all of this so please go easy on me  Smiley
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jake262144
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March 31, 2012, 10:43:51 PM
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botnet
So damned hard?
salinaxay
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March 31, 2012, 11:01:34 PM
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Jeez Chillax DOOD! 
I know what wikipedia is.
I was hoping for a more simple explanation as I am not computer savvy in any form.

jake262144
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March 31, 2012, 11:14:35 PM
 #4

A set of computers infected by malicious software giving a remote attacker control over them.
Typically used to send spam/fraudulent e-mails, steal login credentials and do whatever the criminal is able to monetize.
If the user is careless to install one, they are royally screwed.
Simple enough?
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March 31, 2012, 11:33:48 PM
 #5

A set of computers infected by malicious software giving a remote attacker control over them.

how about... a set of computers running software giving a remote individual or group control over them.

jake's bias is understandable though, it's likely most botnets are malicious.
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March 31, 2012, 11:46:28 PM
 #6

Since bots are installed covertly and without authorization they are inherently malicious.
Unauthorized access and/or change to a third-party's machine constitutes a felony in many jurisdictions.

It doesn't really matter what purposes the botnet as a whole might be used for.
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April 01, 2012, 12:05:30 AM
 #7

Since bots are installed covertly...

really? ALL of them?
jake262144
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April 01, 2012, 12:14:06 AM
 #8

Does the word "compromised" in the definition of what a botnet is ring a bell?

While the term "botnet" can be used to refer to any group of bots, such as IRC bots, this word is generally used to refer to a collection of computers (called zombie computers) which have been recruited by running malicious software.
That's the contemporary meaning of the word. It has strong negative connotations.

While it is true that the word "bot" can mean any program from first-person-shooter games AI opponents to harmless IRC bots, these are not used in the context of botnets(1) and thus irrelevant to our discussion(2).

Unless you want to try a valid argument for a change, I'm done here.

EDIT::a few links worth following:
http://www.honeynet.org/papers/bots/
http://www.abuse.ch/?p=3294
http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2012/03/p2p-botnets-the-bigger-they-come-the-faster-they-fall.ars

Notes:
(1) you can safely assume your Counterstrike bots won't take over your gaming machine Tongue
(2) effectively outside of the scope
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April 01, 2012, 12:37:30 AM
 #9

Does the word "compromised" in the definition of what a botnet is ring a bell?

While the term "botnet" can be used to refer to any group of bots, such as IRC bots, this word is generally used to refer to a collection of computers (called zombie computers) which have been recruited by running malicious software.
That's the contemporary meaning of the word. It has strong negative connotations.

While it is true that the word "bot" can mean any program from first-person-shooter games AI opponents to harmless IRC bots, these are not used in the context of botnets(1) and thus irrelevant to our discussion(2).

Unless you want to try a valid argument for a change, I'm done here.

EDIT::a few links worth following:
http://www.honeynet.org/papers/bots/
http://www.abuse.ch/?p=3294
http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2012/03/p2p-botnets-the-bigger-they-come-the-faster-they-fall.ars

Notes:
(1) you can safely assume your Counterstrike bots won't take over your gaming machine Tongue
(2) effectively outside of the scope

since you're pulling wikipedia quotes i'll pull part of the same quote:

the term "botnet" can be used to refer to any group of bots

i agree that most are probably malicious

i disagree that 100% of them are 'inherently' malicious

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April 01, 2012, 02:59:41 AM
 #10

Does the word "compromised" in the definition of what a botnet is ring a bell?

While the term "botnet" can be used to refer to any group of bots, such as IRC bots, this word is generally used to refer to a collection of computers (called zombie computers) which have been recruited by running malicious software.
That's the contemporary meaning of the word. It has strong negative connotations.

While it is true that the word "bot" can mean any program from first-person-shooter games AI opponents to harmless IRC bots, these are not used in the context of botnets(1) and thus irrelevant to our discussion(2).

Unless you want to try a valid argument for a change, I'm done here.

EDIT::a few links worth following:
http://www.honeynet.org/papers/bots/
http://www.abuse.ch/?p=3294
http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2012/03/p2p-botnets-the-bigger-they-come-the-faster-they-fall.ars

Notes:
(1) you can safely assume your Counterstrike bots won't take over your gaming machine Tongue
(2) effectively outside of the scope

since you're pulling wikipedia quotes i'll pull part of the same quote:

the term "botnet" can be used to refer to any group of bots

i agree that most are probably malicious

i disagree that 100% of them are 'inherently' malicious


I do write a 'botnet' for my personal mining rigs - easier to take control of em when I'm not present. However I'm switching over to teamviewer now  Tongue

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