Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

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.

In Other News...

Dawson Springs Arrest Reports Released

DAWSON SPRINGS, Ky. (7/14/14) — The Dawson Springs Police Department released the following reports Monday, July 14:… Read More

KSP Investigating Escape and Assault on Officers

MAYFIELD, Ky. (7/14/14) — The Kentucky State Police are investigating the escape of a Mayfield man who was on home… Read More

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

July 14, 2014 11970

UPDATE: Woman Charged in Central City…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 11, 2014 6005

Madisonville Kmart to Close in October

in Top Stories by Ami Clayton, SurfKY News
July 11, 2014 4246

Hopkins County Health Department Food…

in News by Lisa Miller
July 11, 2014 2786

Local Man Dies After Bike Collides With…

in Top Stories by Robert D. Littlepage
July 11, 2014 2145

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

in News by Karen McKnight

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

July 11, 2014 6005

Madisonville Kmart to Close in October

in Top Stories by Ami Clayton, SurfKY News
July 11, 2014 2786

Local Man Dies After Bike Collides With…

in Top Stories by Robert D. Littlepage
July 10, 2014 1845

UPDATED: MFD Battles Blaze on South…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
July 11, 2014 1705

White Plains Man Arrested for Sodomy

in Top Stories by Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office
July 10, 2014 1496

Single Vehicle Injury Collision on US 62

in Top Stories by Trooper S. C. Recke

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

July 11, 2014 1086

Owensboro Police Department Reports…

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
July 10, 2014 995

Daviess County Traffic Advisory

in News by Keith Todd
July 11, 2014 807

President Obama Awards Brescia University…

in News by Tina Kasey
July 11, 2014 693

Portion of Spring Bank Drive Closed July…

in News by Beth Cecil
July 11, 2014 678

Portion of Southeastern Parkway Closed…

in News by Beth Cecil

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

July 14, 2014 11970

UPDATE: Woman Charged in Central City…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 11, 2014 1727

Muhlenberg District Court Fines Handed…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 12, 2014 1082

July Chamber Meeting

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


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

social 06social 21social 22social 04social 03