Security+ Objective 1.1 – Differentiate among various systems security threats – Botnets

botnet sketchA Botnet is a collection of computers on a network that can be controlled by a bad guy. Bot is short for robot, because each system will do as it is told. Another common term for a bot is zombie. To create a network of bots/zombies the bad guy infects systems with agent software. That agent software acts as a zombie slave and is programmed to receive commands from the zombie master. The zombie master acts as a command and control center. All of the slaves will routinely send out packets to the master letting the bad guy know that they are ready to receive commands.

Typically the bad guy uses Internet Relay Chat (IRC) to “chat” with the bots and send commands. With an army of bots at his command the bad guy will usually run Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DDoS) that can take down web servers that are designed to handle massive amounts of traffic. He never would have had enough power to do this with just his own PC.

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