Botnets

The Malware Business Model

The Malware Business Model

We hear a lot about various security or privacy problems throughout the world and we correctly fear for our digital safety; but we seldom stop to consider the intentions of these attackers and why our data is so important.  As I've mentioned before, the issues surrounding our digital culture aren't so much privacy as they are data ownership; and the first step to ensuring that you own your data, is to ensure that you own your computer.

We tend to think of botnets as being a collection of bots, or infected computers, that are nothing more than zombies. And while this may have been true at one point, this is no longer the case: bots are not zombies. The infection that haunts them is far more subtle than anything resembling a "zombie," and recognizing that you're a bot takes far more effort than most users are capable of exerting. Simply put: You can be a bot and never know it.

After all, the owner of the botnet is not interested in your computer: You are the tool being used to achieve a higher purpose. Keeping you oblivious keeps you from doing pesky things like reinstalling Windows or calling Geek Squad, so there are a lot of reasons for an attacker to be extremely subtle in their use of your computer.