The term “botnet” defines a collection of internet-connected technological devices that are enslaved and injected with malware, designed to give control of some or all of their functions to a threat operator.

Cybercriminals employ botnets to action attacks on a wide range of victims, from enterprises to educational institutions. Botnets are commonly used in criminal activities such as data theft, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, unauthorised access, and credential leaks.

The size and scale of botnet attacks

Controllers referred to as botnet masters can sometimes have the use of thousands of devices at their fingertips, giving them the ability to harness their combined power. They can issue the botnet commands and order them to carry malicious actions.

To establish a botnet, threat operators must gain access to devices and compromise them. This is usually achieved using Trojan malware, which attacks the computer’s dedicated security systems. After obtaining access, the botnet master can then deploy further malicious software to give them command and control. As the operator adds each zombie device to the botnet, it increased the scope of the attacks they can launch.

The greater the number of interconnected devices a botnet includes, the stronger and more dangerous the automated attack will be. The result is even the most robust targets being crushed under such a heavy volume of concurrent attacks. Botnets have been identified using as many as 75,000 different compromised devices in unison.

Are there many different types of botnet attacks?

DDoS attacks see botnets swamp enterprise servers with requests, knocking websites entirely offline. The relentless waves of communications transmitted via the enslaved devices can see even the most resilient systems unable to cope. When websites are down, authentic users are unable to use them or access their services.

Another botnet attack is the credential-stuffing tactic. This type of attack sees long lists of user credentials leaked and then validated, with hackers taking control of accounts. Web application attacks involve botnets stealing data like personally identifiable information (PII) and private documents.

Why are botnets becoming more prevalent in cybercriminal campaigns?

An increasingly common practice is for bot controllers to hire out their enslaved network to other threat operators for use in their own criminal schemes. This ease of access to botnets has made them a far more common threat on the current cybersecurity landscape, with many more malicious actors able to leverage their capabilities.

Experts in cybersecurity solutions

At Galaxkey, we have designed our most secure system to keep enterprise networks free from cyberattacks. Companies concerned with their own devices being unwittingly used by a botnet and the risk of attacks against other firms must ensure the systems they use are well protected.

Our secure platform never stores passwords to ensure credentials cannot be stolen by hackers, and has zero backdoors they can exploit to gain a foothold in your network. If you’re looking to enhance your current protection levels, get in touch with our team today and arrange a free online demonstration of our security solution.