2011 -- The Year of the Botnet?

Sue Marquette Poremba

Be prepared for the year of the botnet. The Georgia Tech Information Security Center is predicting that 2011 will see an increase and more sophisticated botnet attacks. According to an article in InformationWeek, botnets already challenge traditional security efforts:

Indeed, botnets collectively generate 95% of the world's spam and have infected an estimated 100 million computers. That makes defending against botnets difficult, and it's not getting easier.

Botnets are already a major problem in the United States. In a ThreatPost article, it was reported that the United States has the most botnet-infected computers of any country in the world-by a lot, four times as many as second place Brazil:

Between January and June of this year, Microsoft cleaned more than 6.5 million machines worldwide of bot infections, which represents a 100 percent increase in bot infections from the same period in 2009. This increase comes at a time when there is more attention than ever focused on the botnet problem, both by security researchers and law-enforcement agencies around the world.

Security researchers might stand a chance if botnets were the only problem to focus on, but of course, that's not the case. Georgia Tech is also warning of potential threats against critical infrastructure, on smartphones and social media networks.

 

Already, 2011 looks like a very challenging year.



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