Here's a scary fact, (again) - nearly 7 million web connected devices were taken over by botnets in 2016. That's a crazy amount! This is according to research by Symantec a security and antivirus firm, (guys who make Norton Antivirus)
Firstly, what the hell is a botnet you might be asking. Its basically a whole bunch of devices which are taken over by malware (dodgey programs accidentally downloaded to you computer OR other device), and then used all together to carry out attacks on the internet. Sound far fetched? Not really. As mentioned above 1 or 3 devices have already been used in this way, basically becoming zombie like devices to be used in these attacks. The attacks usually take the form of DDoS attacks, which are a kind of attack which are designed to swamped the target website or server with too much data, and the target site packs up and stops working. The only sign you might have is that you PC or device begins to run very slowly as its processing power is been drained away to be used in this botnet.
They reckon that the UK is the 11th worst affected country in the world, with Russia being number 1. Unsurprisingly London is the worst UK city with the most Botnets. Next worst aren't all Cities, some are towns. These include: Maidstone, Slough, Hatfield and Maidenhead. The thing is hackers are starting to target devices that aren't even computers. these devices include: home routers, webcams, digital video cameras and even baby monitors!
So how are your devices infected? Basically like any other malware where you are tricked into clicking links in emails which then download the viruses.
So, what are the signs that your computer is partly zombified and part of a botnet?
It will run alot slower even if you aren't running any programs on it
Emails may appear in your sent folder that you never sent
you might experience a sudden loss of hard-drive storage space
What can you do?
Do a check using your antivirus (don't tell me you don't have any!!!)
If you know how check in your task manager see if anything running looks a little dodgey,like unfamiliar programs
to keep other devices safe always change the default password from when it was first installed
Always install firmware updates
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