What are Botnets in information security?

A botnet is a set of web connected devices such as servers, PCs, mobile devices, and IoT devices that are infected and controlled by shared malware. A system generally becomes part of a botnet without the user even realizing it. These hijacked devices can be used to give out distributed denial-of-service attacks, steal records, send spam or even remotely access the local web of a device.

A high-scale volumetric DDoS attack can create traffic measured in tens of Gigabits per second. A regular network will not be able to manage such traffic.

Attackers construct a network of hacked machines called a botnets by spreading malicious code through emails, websites, and social media. Because these computers are infected, they can be controlled remotely, without their owner knowledge, and used as an army to launch an attack against some target.

The structure of bot networks has evolved over time, fixing to newer security systems to prevent detection or disruption. Traditionally, bot programs are constructed as clients that connect via current servers. But some current botnets based on existing peer-to-peer networks to communicate. These P2P bot programs have the same possibilities as botnets work within the client-server model, but they communicate directly with each other, preventing the need for a central server.

Botnets are used to distribute spam through email, attempt click fraud attacks, and start DDoS attacks. Botnet malware will regularly scan the internet viewing for exposed systems or IoT devices, instead of targeting individuals or companies, to infect as several devices as possible.

The computing power and resources of a high botnet are leveraged to automate service while remaining hidden from the computer owner. The botnet stays concealed through a multiple tactics. A major approach is to piggyback onto a computer browser. By utilizing a small area of the device’s resources, the increase in traffic is too small for the user to acknowledge.

DDoS attacks are carried out with networks of Internet-connected devices. A DDoS attack can be generated in the following step by step which are as follows −

  • These networks includes computers and other devices including IoT devices that have been infected with malware, enabling them to be controlled remotely by an attacker. These individual devices are defined as bots or zombies, and a group of bots is known as botnet.

  • Once a botnet has been created, the attacker can direct an attack by sending remote instructions to each bot. It can use for sending more connection requests than a server can manage at a time.

  • Attackers can have computers send a victim resource large amounts of random information to use up the target's bandwidth.

  • When the botnet targets a victim's server or network, each bot sends requests to the target's IP address, potentially generating the server or network to become overload, ensuing in a denial-of-service to regular traffic.