Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster

Citizens Warned of Internet Botnets

FBI 2 300WASHINGTON, D.C. (6/8/13) - Last month, the head of an international securities fraud ring was sentenced to federal prison for manipulating stock prices by using botnets to distribute spam promoting those stocks. And several months ago, 10 members  of an international cyber-crime ring were arrested for using botnets to steal more than  $850 million after obtaining personal financial information from compromised computers.

The use of botnets is on the rise and industry experts estimate that botnet attacks have resulted in the overall loss of millions of  dollars from financial institutions and other major U.S. businesses. They've also affected universities, hospitals, defense contractors, law enforcement, and all levels of government.

What exactly is a botnet? A bot, or web robot, is an automated malware program that scans blocks of network addresses and infects vulnerable computers. A network of these infected computers-numbering in the hundreds of thousands or even millions-is called a botnet (robot network), and each computer becomes connected to a command- and-control server operated by the criminal.

Once the botnet is in place, it can be used in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, proxy and spam services, malware distribution, and other organized criminal activity. Botnets can also be used for covert intelligence collection, and terrorists or state-sponsored actors could use a botnet to attack Internet-based critical infrastructure. And, they can be used as weapons in ideology campaigns against their target to instigate fear, intimidation, or public embarrassment.

Your personal computer could become part of a botnet-it only takes one wrong click for you to download malicious code. For example, you might get an unsolicited e-mail promoting a dating website or a work-at-home arrangement or an e-mail that appears to come from your bank containing a seemingly harmless link. You could be sent a link by a friend asking you to view a great video (which was actually sent because the friend's  computer is already infected). You could see a link on a webpage that seems to be soliciting donations for a recent tragedy. And you might even visit a fraudulent website-or a legitimate one that's been compromised-and download video, pictures, or a document containing malicious code.

Your personal computer could become part of a botnet-it only takes one wrong click for you to download malicious code. For example, you might get an unsolicited e-mail promoting a dating website or a work-at-home arrangement or an e-mail that appears to come from your bank containing a seemingly harmless link. You could be sent a link by a friend asking you to view a great video (which was actually sent because the friend's computer is already infected). You could see a link on a webpage that seems to be soliciting donations for a recent tragedy. And you might even visit a fraudulent website-or a legitimate one that's been compromised-and download video, pictures, or a document containing malicious code.

Once the malware is on your computer, it's hard to detect. And in addition to your computer being commanded to link up with other compromised computers to facilitate criminal activity, the bot can also collect and send out your personal identifiable information-like credit card numbers, banking information, and passwords-to the criminals running it. Those criminals will take advantage of the information themselves or offer it for sale on cyber-criminal forums, and you could find yourself being victimized again.

The FBI-with its law enforcement and private sector partners-has had success in taking down a number of large botnets, most notably Coreflood. By combining the resources of government and the private sector-and with the support of the public, they will continue to improve cyber-security by identifying and catching those who threaten it.

If you think your computer may be part of a botnet, file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) http://www.ic3.gov/ and/or contact the cyber task force at your local FBI office http://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field.

SurfKY News
Information provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation

.

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

3/13 - 16
button coupons

Stock Report

1 DOW 18,027.62
-26.09 (-0.14%)    
2 S&P 2,091.33
+2.56 (0.12%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,808.26
+1.40 (0.03%)    
3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16
button classifieds

In Other News...

Humphries Cemetery Patriot Graves to Be Cleaned and Restored in January

CADIZ, Ky. (12/28/14) — Nestled beside a pasture at the end of Humphries Road in rural Trigg County, the Humphries… Read More

Cadiz Police Arrest Reports - Dec. 29, 2014

CADIZ, Ky. (12/29/14) — The Cadiz Police Department released the following reports. Officer Aaron Acree arrested… Read More
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

December 24, 2014 12833

Christmas Eve Bloody Brawl Erupts on Dulin Street

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis
December 25, 2014 8975

Gift Returns Done Right

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
December 25, 2014 6396

Arrests Made After Dulin Avenue Christmas Eve…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Officer C.P. Haynie
December 25, 2014 4690

Crime Stoppers Top Most Wanted - December 25, 2014

in Video by Crime Stoppers
December 23, 2014 4205

Couple's Alleged Dispute over Blanket Leads to…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 23, 2014 3677

Alleged Theft at Walmart Sends Two to Jail

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 23, 2014 3298

Disturbance Results in Vehicle, Foot Pursuit,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Officer Tyler Russell
December 26, 2014 3287

2014 Looking Back: World Mourns Watson Family…

in Top News For All Sites by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
December 26, 2014 3270

5-Year-Old Boy Kills Buck/Doe

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Randy Adams
December 23, 2014 3094

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Karen McKnight

Stories Trending Today

December 28, 2014 2683

Patriot to Idle Two Mines Today; 600-700 Jobs…

in Top News For All Sites by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
December 28, 2014 1406

2014 Looking Back: Central City’s Lu Ray Park…

in Top News For All Sites by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
December 28, 2014 1403

Unique New Year's Traditions from across the World

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
December 27, 2014 1126

Understand and Avoid Elder Financial Fraud

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
December 28, 2014 1084

Five Tips to Get Control of Your Retirement in…

in General News For All Sites by David Taylor
December 28, 2014 904

New Year Brings New Sales

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
December 28, 2014 896

Dave Says - Dec. 28, 2014

in General News For All Sites by Dave Ramsey
December 28, 2014 843

Outdoor Truths - Dec. 28, 2014

in General News For All Sites by Gary Miller
December 28, 2014 841

Legislator's Log - Week of Dec. 28, 2014

in General News For All Sites by Brent Yonts
December 28, 2014 819

Lung Cancer Not Always Linked to Smoking

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss