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Botnets are the amalgamation of many (often several thousand) computers for criminal purposes. The merger usually takes place without the knowledge of the user using malicious code. Infected computers are remotely controlled by a C&C server (Comand and Control Server) and thus interconnected to form a powerful attack tool.

The word "botnet" is made up of the two English terms "robot" and "network" and means something like "a network of robots".

Botnets are often used specifically for attacks against websites or online services. DDoS attacks (so-called Distributed Denial of Service Attacks) restrict the accessibility of websites or online services in that the computers of botnets simultaneously (usually several thousand at the same time) call a certain website or a targeted service en masse, so that the request or The number of calls can no longer be served, as a result of which the website or the service online (due to overloading "surrender" of the server) can no longer be reached. Other possibilities for using botnets are the massive sending of spam mail.

Because infected systems can be controlled remotely, the data and information or device components (such as cameras, microphones, etc.) can also be spied out on the affected system, which represents an additional problem of "botnets".

Botnets are an integral part of cybercriminals' tools and can be booked for specific jobs in the darknet.

More information on protection against botnets: BotFrei initiative of the Association of the Internet Industry