Botnet, or zombie army

What is a botnet?

A botnet (also known as zombie army) is a cluster of computers whose systems have been seized and compromised by an individual with malicious intent. The individual uses these  machines to carry out acts of cyber malice, like sending spam and launching denial-of-service attacks.

How does a botnet work?

The word “botnet” is a combination of “robot” and “network”. Compromised machines are often unknowingly infected with malware or viruses. The bots that make up a botnet can remain dormant until activated to perform an attack.

While botnets are usually malicious, they have some legal applications as well. Distributed computing, for example, can use a botnet to take advantage of the idle resources on multiple devices to execute actions that would not be feasible on a single computer.