Miscellaneous 3 min. read

How to protect your device from becoming part of a botnet

How to protect your device from becoming part of a botnet

Hotspot Shield VPN for malware protection

Botnets are among the biggest online threats for enterprises. Because of the various ways a user’s computer or device can be turned into a part of a botnet, as well as the growing Internet connectivity among even the most commonly used items such as home appliances, it’s easier for hackers to expand their army of zombie computers to conduct increasingly powerful online attacks. Protect yourself and help stop other devices from becoming part of a botnet by downloading a malware security VPN.

What is a botnet?

The term botnet refers to a system of interconnected devices that can be used to massively conduct various online attacks. Also called zombie computers, botnets can be controlled by cyber criminals and used for conducting malicious activities. The most popular among these are distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which allow attackers to temporarily shut websites down, causing disruptions (and in turn losses) for businesses and organizations.

Botnets can also be used to execute large-scale distributions of spam emails that can cause flooding and overloading for inboxes in mere seconds. Additionally, it can enable aggressive breaches that aim to crack accounts and collect passwords on a massive scale.

There have been a number of notable botnets that have emerged over the years. Examples of these include:

  • Conficker – Conficker is considered to be among the most aggressive malware strains the Internet has ever seen. From the mid-2000s until its peak in 2009, Conficker was able to infect an estimated 15 million computers, with around 3 to 4 million of these computers being part of its botnet.
  • Grum – This botnet is notorious for its spamming capabilities during its active years from 2008 until its takedown in 2012. At its peak, Grum had the capacity to deliver almost 40 billion messages per day, and was responsible for 26 percent of the world’s spam traffic at that time.
  • Mirai – Discovered only this year, Mirai is different from other recent botnets in that instead of computing devices, its targets are part of the Internet of Things (IoT). It can spread itself into Internet-connected devices by continuously scanning for those that are still using default usernames and passwords.

How botnets expand

To “recruit” computers into their botnets, hackers employ different distribution methods to spread botnet malware across as many computers and devices as possible. The most common of these methods include email campaigns, drive-by downloads, overlays, phishing, and social engineering.

Once a device has been recruited into a botnet, that computer can be used together with other infected devices without the owners knowing about it. Not only will the security of the device become under the control of whoever is behind the botnet, attackers will also be able to use the bandwidth of the victim to strengthen their attacks.

Hotspot Shield malware security VPN

Installing Hotspot Shield malware security VPN on your device is an effective way of protecting it against malware strains that can turn devices into botnet components. Hotspot Shield VPN protects your device against malware attacks by notifying you if the website or link that you’re trying to open is infected, and then blocks access to that site. This is made possible by a database of more than 3.5 million infected websites.

Aside from this feature, Hotspot Shield also has a number of other benefits, including IP masking and anonymous surfing. You can learn more about these benefits by visiting the Hotspot Shield website.

Don’t let your device become a part of a botnet. Download Hotspot Shield malware security VPN now and enjoy a safe and worry-free Internet session today!

Get the latest stories and tips from Hotspot Shield in your inbox