One quarter of all PCs connected ot the internet are connected to a botnet by way of malware, it has been estimated.
Vint Cerf, widely regarded as the one of the 'fathers of the internet' for his work on the TCP/IP protocol, made the guesstimate at the World Economic Forum in Davos, yesterday. He said that, of the 600 million PCs that are connected to the internet, around 150m were connected up to a botnet - almost all of them without their owners having a clue what is going on.
The rise of botnets has come about through internet malware, and the revenue which can be generated by using CPU cycles and internet connections. Computers connected to a botnet can be remote controlled, then used to send out spam email and participate in DDoS attacks. Both of these functions can be re-sold by the botnet controller to a buyer eager to make use of the seedier side of the net.
Will Windows Vista put a halt to this? The world can but hope, as better security on the internet, touted by Microsoft in Vista, will hopefully prevent more PCs getting infected - but we won't hold out too much hope.
Given the massive readership of bit-tech
, statistics suggest that at least some of you must be unwittingly running botnet software. When was the last time you checked? Let us know over in the forums.