bot-nets can take down an
entire nation's internet
|10/26/2006: In a story released on SearchSecurity.com
today, several sources are reporting alarming increases in "bot-net" activity, world-wide.
"Bot-nets" are networks of infected computers, mostly running the Microsoft Windows operating system. The infection, usually a "Trojan" or "back-door" program, causes the infected machine to "phone home", contacting a server from which the criminal deploying the malware can then assume complete control over the compromised system. Thousands of these linked computers can then be used as a platform to launch even more destructive software to deny services to single domains belonging to businesses or government agencies, or to flood entire areas of the internet with traffic, thus effectively taking them offline. Of note is the fact that over 43,000 new variants of these "Trojan Horse" infections were spotted during the first half of 2006!
Anti-virus giant McAfee Corporation reported several attacks earlier this year which actually completely compromised all internet activity over an entire Central American country, causing a shutdown of all banking ATM connections and VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) activity.
It is becoming increasingly clear that cybercrime is becoming tightly organized, well-educated, and that threats are increasing in technical sophistication and scope of effect, to the point that very soon, the possibility of a small group of cybercriminals compromising the entire infrastructure of a nation the size of the U.S. is quite possible.
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