Vint Cerf estimates that one quarter of all computers connected to the internet are part of a botnet. Cerf, one of the ‘founding fathers’ of the Internet told listeners at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland that out of 600 million computers participating in the online world, 150 million are likely to be unwilling members of a botnet; collections of remotely compromised systems often used as proxies for illegal activities like spamming and credit card fraud.
In May 2006 a botmaster launched attacks on BlueSecurity, the assault couldn’t be stopped and the authorities could not track the attacker. BlueSecurity are no longer around.
With Internet presence rapidly expanding it’s difficult to know just how the growth of botnets can be stopped. I suppose education is the key; users should be more aware of the dangers and how to protect themselves. A computer with an up to date OS, a software firewall (behind a router firewall), anti-virus and anti-malware applications should be pretty safe. There are the risks of 0-day exploits and vulnerabilities but the machines should be behind a ‘block all except..’ firewall.