Skip to main content

What is a Botnet - Why do I care?

Today every business is an internet business.  The performance of any business is directly related to the capability and performance of IT.  Therefore, we must all take cyber security seriously.  

Let’s start with a botnet by breaking down the word itself.  The first syllable, “bot” is short for robot. The second syllable “net” is from the word network.  A botnet is formed when a hacker writes a computer program that will breach security on a single computer.  It does not stop there.  This computer program called a virus has the capability to take over that computer that it just hacked into. It does not stop there either because this is not good enough for the cybercriminal.  With a botnet, the virus will move from one computer to another, take control of each and then connect all of the disparate computers into a powerful system or network of control.  This is known as a botnet.

Cyber criminals are control freaks.  They will sometimes create a virus that controls thousands or even millions of computers.  The more computers that the criminal gets control over the bigger their botnet becomes and the more power they have to do harm.  There has been a bit of glory given in the past and even today for a hacker that has this capability to do harm on a mega scale.  Today they can even change the course of the entire world.   The hacker keeps going and revels in the number of controlled computers that they can get into their botnet.  When the botnet gets very large it is referred to as a zombie network and is sometimes sold to other cyber criminals so that they can grow their own botnet or zombie.
Every business, every home and every internet device is vulnerable.  The internet of things has fueled flames for botnets and zombies and is yet one more avenue for the cybercriminal to get control over devices, access proprietary/personal information, to sell the information, propagate SPAM and more.

Installing security protection on your computer and business systems is crucial but many do not consider their phones, their XBOX, or other internet enabled devices such as thermostats, cars, lights, refrigerators and other appliances. All can be connected through the “Internet of Things” and all can be broken into to become a part of or an avenue to expand a botnet.

Education and Awareness

The public is not aware. Last year a cyber-attack occurred that would randomly call people and ask questions like “Can you hear me ok?”. When the person answers “YES”, then the program records your voice and uses it to confirm the opening of a new credit card or another potentially dangerous ploy.  The public should become aware of the risk and how to avoid cyber-attacks with security monitoring apps, and to keep apprised of what is critical information and not give away key information unintendedly.
Business and government agencies will need to be willing to change their culture. They will need to integrate teams of specialists, build resilient/rugged software and more.  Every business and their employees should be cyber experts. More than that, they will have to CHANGE the way that they think about requirements, development and deployment of products and services. They will need to consider skillsets for new roles such as the DevOps Test Engineer (DTE) and more.   Educate yourself and inspire others. It is a new world! 

For training and certification regarding-à  DTE, DevOps and Agile…


Popular posts from this blog

What is the difference between Process Owner, Process Manager and Process Practitioner?

I was recently asked to clarify the roles of the Process Owner, Process Manager and Process Practitioner and wanted to share this with you. Roles and Responsibilities: Process Owner – this individual is “Accountable” for the process. They are the goto person and represent this process across the entire organization. They will ensure that the process is clearly defined, designed and documented. They will ensure that the process has a set of Policies for governance. Example: The process owner for Incident management will ensure that all of the activities to Identify, Record, Categorize, Investigate, … all the way to closing the incident are defined and documented with clearly defined roles, responsibilities, handoffs, and deliverables.  An example of a policy in could be… “All Incidents must be logged”. Policies are rules that govern the process. Process Owner ensures that all Process activities, (what to do), Procedures (details on how to perform the activity) and the

Four Service Characteristics

Recently I came across several articles by researchers and experts that laid out definitions and characteristics of services. ITIL provides us with a definition that can help drive the creation of value-laden services: A means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks. An area that ITIL is not so clear is in terms of service characteristics. Several researchers and experts put forth that services have four basic characteristics (IHIP): ·          Intangibility—Services are the results of actions not things. They have no physical presence and represent a logical set of elements. One way to think of service is “work done for others.” ·          Heterogeneity—Also known as “variability”; services are unique items because of the mechanisms used to deliver services-that is people. Because the people element adds variability, the service is variable. This holds true especially for th

How Does ITIL Help in the Management of the SDLC?

I was recently asked how ITIL helps in the management of the SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle).  Simply put... SDLC is a Lifecycle approach to produce the software or the "product".  ITIL is a Lifecycle approach that focuses on the "service". I’ll start by reviewing both SDLC and ITIL Lifecycles and then summarize: SDLC  -  The intent of an SDLC process is to help produce a product that is cost-efficient, effective and of high quality. Once an application is created, the SDLC maps the proper deployment of the software into the live environment. The SDLC methodology usually contains the following stages: Analysis (requirements and design), construction, testing, release and maintenance.  The focus here is on the Software.  Most organizations will use an Agile or Waterfall approach to implement the software through the Software Development Lifecycle. ITIL  -  is a best practice for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with