What Are Bots?
Bots, or Internet robots, are also known as spiders, crawlers, and web bots. While they may be utilized to perform repetitive jobs, such as indexing a search engine, they often come in the form of malware. Malware bots are used to gain total control over a computer.
Good Bots Vs Bad Bots
One of the typical “good” bot uses is to gather information. Bots in such guises are called web crawlers. Another “good” use is automatic interaction with instant messaging, instant relay chat, or assorted other web interfaces. Dynamic interaction with websites is yet another way bots are used for positive purposes.
Malicious bots are defined as self-propagating malware that infects its host and connects back to a central server(s). The server functions as a “command and control center” for a botnet, or a network of compromised computers and similar devices. Malicious bots have the “worm-like ability to self-propagate,” and can also:
🔴Obtain financial information
🔴Capture and analyze packets
🔴Launch DoS attacks
🔴Open back doors on the infected computer
🔴Exploit back doors opened by viruses and worms
Bots are usually used to infect large numbers of computers. These computers form a “botnet,” or a bot network.
Is Your Computer Infected By Bots?
Here are some of the many ways to tell if your computer is infected by bots:
🟠Internet access is slow for no apparent reason.
🟠The computer crashes for no apparent reason.
🟠The fan goes into overdrive when the device is idle.
🟠The computer takes a long time to shut down, or fails to shut down correctly.
🟠Pop-up windows and advertisements appear even when you aren’t using a web browser.
🟠Friends and family receive email messages you did not send.
🟠Computer programs are running slowly.
🟠Settings have changed, and there’s no way to reverse them.
🟠The browser features components you didn’t download.
How Do I Protect My Computer From Bots?
It’s very possible to protect your computer from bots, but it takes diligence and knowing what to look for. Use the following tips to keep your computer safe:
🟣Install firewalls to block malicious attacks and never turn them off.
🟣Use a long and complicated password that contains numbers and symbols.
🟣Never use the same password for multiple programs.
🟣Install quality anti-malware software such as Norton Security to protect your device.
🟣Ensure software is up to date, and never ignore system updates.
🟣Refrain from using flash drives, or thumb drives, in an infected computer.
How To Clean Up Infected Computer??
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If your computer is already infected by bots, protecting your data is the most important thing. Disconnect the computer from the network as soon as possible, which will halt the theft of sensitive information. It also prevents your computer from being used to attack other networks. The next step is moving all important/personal data to another computer or external hard drive—just make certain they’re malware-free first! Once this is complete, you’ll need to clean your computer using assorted security tools, or by having a professional work on the device.
Remember, prevention is the best medicine in regard to bots and all other malware. Stay up to date with your software, never click on anything suspicious, and utilize anti-malware techniques to the fullest extent.
What Is A Scareware?
Scareware is malicious software that tricks computer users into visiting malware-infested websites. Also known as deception software, rogue scanner software or fraudware, scareware may come in the form of pop-ups.
How Is A Scareware Used?
Typically through pop-up ads from rogue security providers that may sound legitimate but are fake. For example, rogue scareware or fake software names to watch out for include Advanced Cleaner, System Defender, and Ultimate Cleaner.
Scareware ads, which pop up in front of open applications and browsers, aim to scare computer users into thinking they have a major problem with their device. The hackrs uses pop-up warnings to tell them their computer has been infected with dangerous viruses that could cause it to malfunction or crash. Some scareware ads also purport to be scanning the user’s device, then showing them hundreds of viruses that are supposedly present but are actually fake results. Typically, the more menacing or shocking an ad pop-up sounds, the more likely the claims being made are scareware.
Another key feature of scareware is urgency. Hackers attempt to convince users that the supposed device problem requires immediate action and then prompt them to install the program as quickly as possible. Therefore, always be careful with any ad that demands the user to act immediately. It is most likely scareware.
What Is A Man-In-The-Browser Attack?
With a man-in-the-browser attack (MITB), an attacker needs a way to inject malicious software, or malware, into the victim’s computer or mobile device. One of the ways this can be achieved is by phishing.
Phishing is when a fraudster sends an email or text message to a user that appears to originate from trusted source, such as a bank, as in our original example. By clicking on a link or opening an attachment in the phishing message, the user can unwittingly load malware onto their device.
The malware then installs itself on the browser without the user’s knowledge. The malware records the data sent between the victim and specific targeted websites, such as financial institutions, and transmits it to the attacker.
How To Help Protect Against A Man-In-The-Middle Attack?
With the amount of tools readily available to cybercriminals for carrying out man-in-the-middle attacks, it makes sense to take steps to help protect your devices, your data, and your connections. Here are just a few.
? Make sure “HTTPS” — with the S — is always in the URL bar of the websites you visit.
? Be wary of potential phishing emails from attackers asking you to update your password or any other login credentials. Instead of clicking on the link provided in the email, manually type the website address into your browser.
? Never connect to public Wi-Fi routers directly, if possible. A VPN encrypts your internet connection on public hotspots to protect the private data you send and receive while using public Wi-Fi, like passwords or credit card information.
? Since MITB attacks primarily use malware for execution, you should install a comprehensive internet security solution, such as Norton Security, on your computer. Always keep the security software up to date.
? Be sure that your home Wi-Fi network is secure. Update all of the default usernames and passwords on your home router and all connected devices to strong, unique passwords.