November 2013

Botnet

We are getting more and more computers coming in with botnet problems. The new form of Virus

botnet ˈbɒtnɛt/ noun

  1. 1.

a network of private computers infected with malicious software and controlled as a group without the owners’ knowledge, e.g. to send spam.

Botnet is not a new threat but is becoming a very serious threat. In a nut shell these little pesky robots infect your computer and then join thousands of other computers on the internet (World Wide Web). One of the many functions these bots get to do is simulate human interaction on your computer, and one of the most common is sending out spam mail. We had a computer in for repair the other day where the client was complaining about his computer running very slowly. We found a bot that was sending out about 3000 emails every day. The client had no clue. He said “my computer is clean I have BrandX (name changed) Antivirus running which I paid a lot of money for”. “But it keeps asking for me to purchase an upgrade”. I am not writing this to take a dig at off the shelf AV’s. There are some good ones and bad ones, that debate will continue for ever.

Back to Bots also known as Malware, the client didn’t even know what was going on with his computer. When we told him about 3000 emails going out from his computer every day he nearly poop in his pants, the light switch went on! “If they can hijack my computer like that then what about my banking details and passwords”. When the penny dropped it hit hard. All genuine concerns.

Here at Hawk Electronics we put our clients in 2 different categories, Business and Private users, most businesses will have servers and firewalls to prevent most of the Botnets from functioning. Private Users or Small Business will not have this luxury. One thing that has become very noticeable in the past few months is that Windows XP users are getting attacked more and more. This must be that it is no longer being supported by Microsoft which means the security updates are no longer there. Easy for Bots to make themselves at home in your computer.

Take Control Back of Your Computer!

Make sure your Anti-Virus is a good one and up to date. Give us a call 033 3425759 we can advise you which ones we advise, and 9 times out of 10 they will be free.

Get your computer cleaned, as a Botnet can be sitting dormant in your computer for years and only will be triggered by a certain function / date / etc. Ok here is the sales pitch, depending on your usage we recommend having a clean-up done every 6 – 12 months. In all fairness to clean a computer and remove all these pesky little Knats it takes 24 hours to scan and clean correctly. But as the computer is sitting on a work bench for 24 hours the actual labour that will be charged is only 1 hour.

Be very careful and aware where you go on the internet, don’t open suspicious emails. If you get a phone call from someone saying that they are from Microsoft and your computer has sent them a message Etc. It is a scam, keep them on the line for as long as possible, waste their time. DONOT do anything that they tell you to do on your computer. All they will do is load a Bot onto your computer and suck your private information and more.

For more information about how we can help: Contact Us or even if you just want some free advice.