ddos

Botnet Attack

Everything You Want to Know About a Botnet Attack


It is no secret that botnet attack have become significant security threats but what are they, exactly?

What is a Botnet Attack?

A botnet attack is performed by hackers using a collection of malware-infected devices, often termed as “zombies,” which are being controlled by the attackers. We often think of servers and computers being used in such an attack but increasingly, IoT devices like cameras, thermostats and more can help form botnet clusters.

Threat actors gain access to a device by using particular viruses to weaken the computer’s security system before executing “command and control software” to let them conduct their malicious activities on a large scale.

These activities can be automated to carry out countless simultaneous attacks, paralyzing infected devices for ransom or damage while also disguising their identity via the vast botnet network.

A botnet is used in many cybercrimes such as exploiting and making a financial gain, malware propagation, or just general disturbance of the Internet.

Botnet attacks are launched in many ways, including:

  • Spam Emails

The spamming process can be conducted by posing bots as a content server while others as SMTP servers. A spam campaign includes message templates, a senders list, and a recipient list.

  • Launching a DDOS Attack:

A Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDoS) is another type of botnet attack launched on a website, company or government. This is conducted by sending many requests for content that overwhelms and shuts down the targeted server or website.

  • Ad Fraud

Cybercriminals can utilize the combined processing power of botnets to run fraudulent advertising schemes to attract clicks to get a percentage of ad fees.

  • Distributing Spyware, Malware, and Ransomware

Botnet attacks are also conducted to distribute spyware, ransomware, and malware.

  • Selling and Renting:

Believe it or not, botnets can be found for sale on the dark web to other cybercriminals to exploit!

HOW TO PREVENT BOTNET ATTACKS?

1. Emphasize Cybersecurity Education

For companies of all sizes, training their people is key. Employees should be trained to report unauthorized emails to the IT team, how to spot phishing emails, not to use public WiFi without using a VPN and more.

2. Keep All Software Up-to-Date

Software patches should always be applied promptly – beyond your browser and operating system, don’t forget to update antivirus protection, too!

3. Spam Filtering:

Email filtering solutions should be enabled to prevent most malicious messages from getting into the email inboxes. The more messages that are blocked, the less risk there is of your staff interacting with a phishing email.

4. Avoid Downloads from File Sharing Networks and P2P

Botnets regularly capitalize on P2P networks and file-sharing services to exploit company networks. Make sure all files are downloaded only from trusted sources and they’re scanned before and after downloading.

5. Control Access

Use multi-factor, risk-based authentication and other safe practices for access controls to prevent a successful botnet invasion on one machine from affecting the entire network.

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Botnet

5 Most Ignored Signs of a Malicious Bot ATTACK!


According to a 2017 survey, bot traffic has surpassed human traffic on the Internet.

What is Modern botnet and why they are dangerous?

Modern botnet

The modern botnet is one of the sophisticated cybercrime techniques. A botnet is a collection of internet-connected devices infected by malware that lets cybercriminals control them. The botnet attack is commonly used to get unauthorized access, data theft, DDoS attacks, and credentials leak.

Because of their complicated size and the challenges involved in detecting them, botnets can be operated secretly so that victims can’t sense them. Some software updates are also bots. Simply put, our digital technologies are surrounded by unavoidable bots.

But that doesn’t mean your network is destined to be attacked by bots. You can protect your network by identifying these malicious robots and you don’t have to be a skilled data scientist.

So How to Identify Malicious bots on your network?

All you need to do is follow the steps given below.

  • Keep an Eye on the Uniformity of Communications:

First, try to distinguish between bots (both bad and good) and humans. You can do this by identifying those machines that continuously communicates with a victim.

Bots communicate with their targets because they require commands, signals, and data. You need to find out the hosts that stay in touch with their targets periodically and continuously. Weekly traffic is sufficient to figure out client-target communication. Uniform communications are likely to be generated by a bot.

  • The Rate of Failed Login Attempts is Quite High:

One of the popular uses of bots is to steal passwords—a practice that is also known as ATO attack. A botnet will try to take control of user accounts by testing user-password combinations obtained from other sites. This way, botnets might attempt to legalize millions of accounts per day. If you’re struggling with your passwords, it might be the sign of a bot attack. You can use analytic tools like Google Analytics and your access logs to track those failed login attempts over time.

  • Identify Malicious Bots within Browsers:

Another way to identify malicious bots is to look at particular information contained in HTTP headers. Internet browsers generally have clear headers’ image. In normal browsing, the link within a browser will generate a “referrer” header that will be included in the next request for that URL.

However, traffic generated by a bot might not have a “referrer” header or it will look “fake”. The bots that look the same in every traffic flow are likely to be highly malicious.

  • Failing of Gift Card Numbers:

Botnets are also used to steal the value from genuine gift cards. It is easy to target gift card accounts with bots.

This is because companies don’t ask for a billing address, account name or personal info when attackers get their hand on gift cards account. That’s why attackers can use several combinations to get valid pairs of card numbers and pin codes. When an invalid pair is made, it generates a failed validation notification. If your gift card validation fails several times, consider it a solid signal that bots are attempting to steal your customer’s gift card balances to resell them on the dark web.

  • Increase in Irregular Page Viewing Patterns:

A human customer is likely to check the things that appeal to them. They look for their desired items and check out. What if they check every single product page on your website—or even half of those pages?

Scraper bots are used for this purpose as they are only aimed at the product pages. Those bots also visit the search page numerous times during a session. Unusual sessions generally include ridiculous searches and can be a sign of a bot attack. Besides, those sessions could be longer as it takes bot time to copy content in large volumes.

So these are the things to look for in your network to keep the risk of malicious bots at a bay. Plus, you can install effective anti-malware software to add extra layers to your cybersecurity.

What do you think? Let us know by commenting below.

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CyNexLink-ddos-attack

Ransomware and DDoS Attacks Prove Treacherous for Businesses


 

CyNexLink Blog   •   September 7, 2017

 

Despite an assemblage of lurking cyber threats, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks and ransomware are considered to be paramount concerns for a business.

Attacks are becoming more common, like the WannaCry ransomware attack in May that targeted computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system. That attack encrypted the data of users so they couldn’t get to their information unless they paid a Bitcoin ransom.

Cyber criminals are more readily employing this tactic of infecting machines with crypto-ransomware and holding the files hostage or launching a DDoS attack until payment is made.

An attack on a business could be crippling and even fatal to its future.

Encrypting data files could result in their permanent loss and paying the ransom could cost a business tens of thousands of dollars.

Even more troubling is how DDoS attacks can be used in conjunction with a ransomware attack. DDoS attacks are when a machine(s) becomes unusable when a cyber crook disrupts the services of a host connected with the web. This is usually done by flooding the machine with requests, which overloads the system.

These attacks can disguise a ransomware attack. DDoS attacks generally can last about 5 minutes, which may seem insignificant, yet, it may take only seconds for the hackers to take critical security structures offline, like firewalls or intrusion prevention systems.

While IT staff attempt to combat the network issues, hackers can inseminate the network with ransomware.

Most cyber security strategies seem to focus on coping with the outfall of a ransomware attack, but it would be prudent on businesses to work on preventing them from ever occurring. Being proactive is key when it comes to protecting a company from a crippling cyber attack.

A desirable protocol would be to install DDoS protection hardware that detects and blocks attacks from happening. This solution, and others, should be discussed with qualified professionals that can help come up with a strategy that best protects a business from the ever-common ransomware and DDoS attacks.

Here’s a breakdown from Craig Young, a cybersecurity researcher with security firm Tripwire:

“In my opinion, businesses are best to never pay DDoS extortionists and instead are better served saving that money for DDoS mitigation services from reputable firms. Since a DDoS involves flooding a target with junk messages until the communication lines are so full of junk that there is no room left for the legitimate messages, the solution often is to acquire really big communication lines and position servers all around the world, making it less likely that an adversary could overwhelm them.”

Next Steps to Take

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