Botnet: Hackers are weaponsing India’s connected machines

What is the News?

Unpatched computers, the prevalence of legacy software and misconfigured smart and connected devices in India are being used as botnets by hackers to run distributed denial of service(DDoS) attacks.

What is Botnet?
Source: Kaspersky

The words “robot” and “network” together give rise to the term Botnet. 

Botnet refers to a network of hijacked internet-connected devices that are installed with malicious codes known as malware. Each of these infected devices is known as Bots, and a hacker/cybercriminal known as the “Bot herder” remotely controls them. 

Botnets can be used to perform Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks, steal data, send spam and allow the attacker to access the device and its connection.

India as a host of Botnet 

According to a report published by US-based cyber security firm A10 Networks, India hosts 10% of the world’s bot networks, the second-highest in the world after China. 

The target sectors for Botnet based DDoS attacks include telecom firms, government infrastructure, healthcare providers and even big technology firms.

Moreover, the report has also found that State-run telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd(BSNL) was the fourth most exploited company in the world in terms of its cyber infrastructure being used for botnets. Around 5% of the world’s botnets originated from devices with BSNL’s internet protocol (IP) addresses. 

Why are Botnet attacks increasing?

Experts have said that the lack of adequate cybersecurity awareness or standards among small companies and government organizations along with the use of old and outdated Windows machines is leading to this growth in compromised devices.

Source: The post is based on the article “Hackers are weaponsing India’s connected machines” published in Indian Express on 9th May 2022

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