Two Million PCs are Part of Botnet in USA

By Dipankar Das, Gaea News Network
Thursday, October 14, 2010

botnet According to the recent research conducted by Microsoft, more than 2.2 million PCs in the last six months are part of Botnet ie the network of infected computers. Brazil ranked second with the number of infected PCs at 550,000.The company conducted the research to aware the users about the danger of malicious networks. When a virus infects a computer through spam or an infected web page, the PC is turned into a botnet. The virus puts the Windows machine under the control of a network of infected PCs.

The research further revealed that most of the people have idea about Virus. But, very few people know about botnet. Sophisticated cybercriminals use botnets to send out spam, phishing e-mails and initiates attacks on websites. Owners of botnets also use infected machines for information that can be sold on the underground auction sites and markets that can be found online.

“Once they have control of the machine they have the potential to put any kind of malicious code on there. It becomes a distributed computing resource they then sell on to others,” said Cliff Evans, head of security and identity at Microsoft UK.

Microsoft’s research disclosed that a botnet called Lethic sent out 56% of all botnet spams between March and June even though it accounts only 8.3% of all  botnet IP addresses.  Microsoft cleaned up more than 6.5 million infections in between April and June, he said, and it was twice the number of PCs cleaned during the same period in 2009.

The statistics is based on from the 600 million machines that are enrolled in Microsoft’s various update services or use its Essentials and Defender security packages. Mr Evans also said that people should sign up for automatic updates, get patch in time for the applications, use anti-virus software and run a firewall. Microsoft  just issued the largest list of fixes for flaws in Windows.

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