Saturday, March 19, 2011

All About Botnets and Zombies

We all have heard alot about these two terms ie, botnets and zombies .
They are now considered as synonyms of viruses and malwares . First I will tell you what basically botnets and zombies are , then some statistical figures and at last i will show you how zombies are now used extensively.
What are botnets and zombies ?

A botnet or robot network is a group of computers running a computer application controlled and manipulated only by the owner or the software source. The botnet may refer to a legitimate network of several computers that share program processing amongst them.

Usually though, when people talk about botnets, they are talking about a group of computers infected with the malicious kind of robot software, the bots, which present a security threat to the computer owner. Once the robot software (also known as malicious software or malware) has been successfully installed in a computer, this computer becomes a zombie or a drone, unable to resist the commands of the bot commander
A zombie computer  is a computer connected to the Internet that has been compromised by a cracker, computer virus or trojan horse and can be used to perform malicious tasks of one sort or another under remote direction. Botnets of zombie computers are often used to spread e-mail spam and launch denial-of-service attacks. Most owners of zombie computers are unaware that their system is being used in this way. Because the owner tends to be unaware, these computers are metaphorically compared to zombies.

How do zombies work?
Spammers may be using your computer to send unsolicited — and possibly offensive — email
offers for products and services. Spammers are using home computers to send bulk emails by the
millions. Indeed, computer security experts estimate that as much as 30 percent of all spam is relayed by infected computers actually located in home offices and living rooms, but controlled from spammers from afar.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency,spammers can get into your computer in several ways, depending on what kind of Internet connection you have. All computers connected to the Internet are potential targets, but those with broadband (dsl, cable modem) connections are especially attractive to spammers because they are “always on.”Spammers scan the Internet, searching for points of entry and then install hidden software that allows remote access to your data and programs. That, in turn, allows the spammer to send relay their spam and send the spam messages out from your computer.

How does your computer become infected with a zombie?
Remote access software also can be installed by a virus: A spammer sends email with a virus in theattachment. If you open the infected attachment, a virus is released that installs the hidden software.The person who sent the virus now can access the data and programs on your computer, or take over many computers and use them to send spam.

How would you now if your pc is a zombie?
It can be very difficult to tell if a spammer has installed hidden software on your computer, but
there are some warning signs. For example,you may receive emails accusing you of sending spam;
you may find email messages in your “outbox” that you didn’t send; or
your computer is using more power than it has in the past to run the programs you use. (typically, the computer becomes slower to respond)
If your computer has been taken over by a spammer, you could face serious problems. Your
Internet Service Provider (ISP) would see the huge number of emails coming out from your account and may prevent you from sending any email at all until the virus is treated, and treatment could be a complicated, time-consuming process.


  1. This is the first time I have heard of these terms, and this is a very understandable explanation of what they are. Nice post.

  2. nice article that i never seen

  3. Thnx sudha..hope you like other posts too....

  4. Great work explaining abut bot nets and such though you should keep tabs on the fact that they are getting less system specific and more browser specific, just a little heads up from your local Ethhak