Innovation

Fighting back against the botnets


Fight against botnetsWe have been talking quite a bit about the perennial problems of botnets recently, starting off with FBI uncovers more than one million botnet victims early last month.

A number of readers have suggested that the only way to deal with this problem at all would be at the network provider level. However, this solution does entail a certain degree of content monitoring. Given the general aversion to any potential breach of privacy, as can be evidenced in AT&T wants to "police" content on its network, this option appears unlikely.

Yet on the other hand, one of the more nefarious usage of botnets, which is to send spam, does continue to cause an impact that reverberates far and wide. In fact, I wrote just a few days ago on The cost of spam: Filtered e-mail results in missed court date. And of course, thanks to the persistent gullibility of users - The Deadliest Day Zero Exploit - botnets and spam is here to stay.

As an IT professional, is there anything you can do about the entire situation at all? When does the posturing and talking end and the real fight begin?

Well, Network World has a new piece about what we can do to fight back against botnets today. As usual, I list a summary here for your convenience.

  1. Hire a Web-filtering service - Subscribe to a Web site filtering service and prevent access to sites that might prove harmful. I have another suggestion, actively monitor all out-bound traffic for suspicious patterns that might indicate a bot infestation.
  2. Switch browsers - Been living under a rock for the last 5 years, huh? Explode Explore no more, feel the Fire(fox), dude.
  3. Disable scripts - Uh-huh. Though I'm not so sure about this one. I mean, AJAX uses JavaScript, right?
  4. Deploy intrusion-detection and intrusion-prevention systems - You wanted to do something, right? Convince your boss to fork out the hard cash for these. IRC chatter detected the whole day? Encrypted traffic in the middle of the night? Ah-ha!
  5. Protect user-generated content - Simply put, protect your own servers from being used as distribution or control nodes for botnets.
  6. Use a remediation tool - Use the right remediation tools to completely scrub away all detected infections! I don't think you can ever be sure of that though. But why not give your opinion this time round.

You can check out the full article: Six ways to fight back against botnets.

Any other suggestions on what can be done to eradicate the botnet menace?

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

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