There are many kinds of viruses crawling through the internet. Some are simply annoying, hijacking your browser to display unwanted advertisements. Others maliciously delete data from your hard drive, destroying years of memories and hard work. The most treacherous, however, secretly take control of your device, turning it into a cybercriminal’s slave.
A Bot is a program that is designed to perform repetitive tasks over the internet at specific, scheduled times. This includes web robots that regularly search the web for sites, like Google, efficiently scanning and cataloging pages to facilitate more comprehensive search results. Other helpful bots might look for the best deals on products or search for particular images.
As viruses, bots have more menacing functions. Cybercriminals have found that these programs, when secretly installed via downloads or Trojans, can infiltrate devices and complete a variety of illicit operations. In essence, these programs force your device to use its resources and work for an outside agent, incorporating your device into a Botnet.
These Botnets are a series of devices all connected by similar bots, working in tandem to perform insidious activities. There are a variety of illegal tasks a Botnet can accomplish, including:
- Massive spamming of email addresses, flooding inboxes in seconds
- Using system resources to apply complicated algorithms for cracking complex password and encryptions
- Collecting private internet and financial data from unwitting users
- Perform Denial of Service (DoS) attacks on large networks/websites
- Create/open backdoor access to an infected device
- Capture and analyze downloaded and uploaded data packets
By making your computer a single member of a digital zombie horde, criminals can easily overwhelm servers, collect data and steal identities of anyone attached to that network unless appropriate safeguards are in place.
Signs of Infection
Since a bot uses your system’s own resources, one of the easiest ways to know if your device has been infected is sudden and inexplicable sluggishness. If you notice that after downloading a new piece of software your device is reacting very slowly, a bot may be hogging RAM and processing power to perform its hidden objectives.
If people from your contacts folder report getting unusual emails or texts you didn’t send, it could be a bot trying to spread onto other systems. Likewise, if frequent popup windows open or your browser suddenly has new features, you may have installed a virus by accident. Any strange behavior such as cooling fans activating when the device isn’t doing any major tasks can be an indication that an unknown program is stealing resources.
If you believe your device or network has been infected by a malicious bot, don’t hesitate to contact us at Super Source GmbH. We are dedicated to providing the best information and antivirus support, making your system safe from malware and bots while keeping it secure from potential threats.