The FBI has tells us that they’ve found 1 million US computers that have been compromised and are being controlled and used for evil.
These networks are called botnets, and according to the FBI, botnetted computers can be used to:
• Steal the computer owner’s identity;
• Launch massive spam campaigns;
• Engage in click-fraud–schemes which artificially inflate the number of visitors to a website; and
• Launch denial of service attacks that can cripple web servers and crash sites.
Fun! Sadly there’s not an easy way to know if your computer is being controlled by a botnet. There are signs, however.
If you have mail in your outbox that you don’t remember sending, or, if your email address is getting undelivered spam bounced back to it, you might be part of a botnet.
What to do if you think you’ve been botnetted:
• Don’t call and pester the FBI about it. They do catch botherders such as Mr. James C. Brewer of Arlington, Texas, who is accused of infecting tens of thousands of computers worldwide, including some at Chicago-area hospitals, but they’re not about to give you tech support.
Let’s hear some strategies for protecting your computer from botnets. What are your favorite tools? —MEGHANN MARCO