You may hear the word ‘bot’ used in conversations, especially around cybersecurity.  But we often use it without knowing exactly what it means or how it originated.

The Players

The term botnet is short for robot network.  It describes a network of computers that are infected by malware.  This malware is controlled by a single party known as the bot-herder.  And each computer that is under that control is known as a bot.

How Does It Work?

Every computer on the botnet can be controlled from one central point or location.  Commands are issued for criminal acts to be carried out simultaneously.  These botnets are often made up of millions of bots.  This enables large-scale attacks to happen without the effort and coordination of multiple parties.  It also includes performing simultaneous updates and behavior modifications to the bots and attack commands.  Bot herders can often rent out segments of their botnet to cybercriminals for financial gain.

What Do They Do?

While not limited to the following actions, these are some of the more common criminal activities that bots can perform. DDoS Attacks – A distributed denial of service attack is when an overload of requests is directed at a targeted network or server.  This then renders the network inaccessible to its legitimate users.

Targeted Intrusion – When a smaller botnet targets a specific high-value part of an organization, such as financial data, R&D, or other intellectual property.  It can also target customer information.

Financial Breach – These botnets target credit card information and directly steal funds.

Email Spam – While this is one of the older botnet attack methods, it is one of the most common.  Botnets will send phishing and spam messages with malware to large, targeted audiences.  One person clicking on a malicious link can result in financial gain for the criminal.

How To Fight Back

The sophistication and adaptability of bots make them a threat to cybersecurity in many aspects. Being proactive in your approach will provide better results when it comes to keeping your personal identity and the security of your business intact. Reynolds + Rowella’s Cybersecurity Team is here to help our clients combat cybercriminal behaviors, old and new. We have multiple solutions for you in our cybersecurity stack offering. With ongoing training, sound policies, and the right security solutions, you’ll have multiple levels of defense to stay a step ahead. Contact us today to learn about the resources we can provide for your success and safety!

Reynolds + Rowella is a regional accounting and consulting firm known for a team approach to financial problem solving. As Certified Public Accountants, our partners foster a personal touch with our clients. As members of DFK International/USA, an association of accountants and advisors, our professional network is international, yet many of our clients have known us for years through the local communities we serve. Our mission is to operate as a financial services firm of outstanding quality. Our efforts are directed at serving our clients in the most efficient and responsive manner possible, delivering services that exceed the expectations of those we serve. The firm has offices at 90 Grove St., Ridgefield, Conn., and 51 Locust Ave., New Canaan, Conn. For more information, please contact Elizabeth Bresnan at 203.438.0161 or email.    


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