We are the Botnet. All email will be assimilated. Resisting is Futile.
Let’s start with the big numbers people love to read about… There are around 200 billion emails sent every given day. That’s a lot of emails. For those of you who are unfortunate enough to not have a good spam filter it probably isn’t a surprise that 80-90% of those emails are spam.
On any given day around 170 billion spam emails are being sent.
170 billion! To put that in perspective, if every human being alive on the planet had an unfiltered email account and received an equal amount of spam, then they would be getting an email every hour.
Only ten percent of that spam is being sent by people, while rest of it can be attributed to botnets. No matter how you swing it, that’s not a good thing. It’s so bad in fact that, 60% of all web traffic can be attributed to bots!
The thing about botnets is that, while you could just buy a bunch of computers and set them up for botnet purposes, it’s a lot cheaper to just use other people’s computers to get the job done. The sad part is, a lot of the time the owners and administrators of those systems don’t even notice that their computer is part of a botnet.
There’s no surefire way to detect or repair a botnet afflicted system, because different variants of the software appear so frequently and behave so differently. If you monitor network traffic across a large network it is possible to use known healthy systems as a baseline to test against for system files and network use. However, the best tell is constantly monitoring systems for odd behavior.
Botnets primarily propagate through malware, so restrict access to resources and administrative privileges to those who require it. If department X and department Y don’t need access to eachother’s network storage, then don’t allow them access as it could provide the botnet more freedom to spread. Above all else, inform your users about the activity and effects they can expect if their system is afflicted by a botnet. Education is always the best defense when it comes to IT security.