Business Day of the Living Dead: Is Your Computer Part of a Botnet?

18/07/2018 11:03:44
“When the Grim Reaper comes to call, words fail- they're just too small.”
Dixie Lyle, To Die Fur

There are countless colorful and frightening terms for a zombified computer. In case you aren’t aware, once a computer is in the ranks of the living dead it is logically recruited to the army of the dead – in PC terms, a botnet. A botnet can be a network of hundreds, thousands or even millions of computers controlled by a Command and Control server and used to conduct DDoS attacks, spread malware and spam, collect mountains of personal data and countless other malicious actions.

Reaper, one of the most massive botnets to date, was recently discovered and predictions are grim. Reaper’s projected size is anywhere between 28,000 and 1 million devices – but the fact that experts can’t agree on this should be frightening enough. We all remember Mirai, the massive botnet with over 2.5 million infected devices that launched a massive DDoS attack in October 2016 preventing millions of users access to some of the most popular websites. Reaper hasn’t launched an attack just yet but this could change at any moment – and no one ramps up a botnet of that size without plans to use it.

How do you tell if you are one of the (potentially million) affected machines?

1. Your computer is running noticeably slower even without multiple running applications.
2. Your computer crashes frequently or gives error messages for no explainable reason.
3. Your contacts or social media feeds receive emails or posts from your computer that you didn’t sent.
4. Your computer takes a significant amount of time to start up and shut down.
5. Suddenly you have significantly less hard disk space.
6. Your web browser slows down or shuts down for no reason.
7. Your task manager shows unfamiliar files with cryptic names.
8. Your fan kicks into overdrive when your computer is idle.
9. You are having issues downloading operating system updates or patches.
10. You are having issues downloading or using anti-virus software.

Obviously, botnets are getting smarter and so should you!  While many command and control networks once had a static IP address, now we are seeing the rise of DGA’s – extremely similar to human requests and difficult to detect with legacy firewall and threat intelligence. Sangfor Technologies doesn’t want you to fear the Reaper!

About Sangfor
Founded in 2000 and a publicly traded company as of 2018 (SANGFOR STOCK CODE: 300454 (CH)) Sangfor Technologies is the global leading vendor of IT infrastructure solutions specializing in Cloud Computing and Network Security. See for more information on Sangfor one-stop solutions for any and all of your network security and cloud computing needs.

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