Hear from CIOs, CTOs, and other C-level and senior execs on data and AI strategies at the Future of Work Summit this January 12, 2022. Learn more


botnetThe “TDL-4” botnet now has more than 4.5 million infected PCs running on it and is the “most sophisticated threat” to computer security today, according to Kaspersky Labs researcher Sergey Golovanov.

Botnets are groups of malware-infected computers that are used for malicious activities, such as sending spam, stealing personal information, launching hacker attacks, and infecting other computers with viruses. They are so hard to defeat because there are so many infected machines.

Kaspersky’s anti-virus software identifies the botnet as TDSS. “TDSS uses a range of methods to evade signature, heuristic, and proactive detection, and uses encryption to facilitate communication between its bots and the botnet command and control center,” Golovanov wrote earlier this week. “TDSS also has a powerful rootkit component, which allows it to conceal the presence of any other types of malware in the system.”

The TDL-4 botnet started hitting computers in 2008, and it goes undetected because it infects the master boot record of a computer. This means the operating system and security software can’t detect it because the infection is so deep. It’s also strong because it has its own “anti-virus” that prevents other botnets from taking it over.

Add this to the the fact that the TDL-4 uses a decentralized peer-to-peer (P2P) network to operate and you have yourself a practically “indestructible” botnet, according to Golovanov.

People can unwittingly infect their computers with a botnet by downloading something that appears harmless, such as a humorous video or picture. The infected file is usually attached to something inane and could easily be via e-mail, so it’s important to have active security software to scan all of your downloads.

VentureBeat

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact. Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:
  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
  • networking features, and more
Become a member