Botnet

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Botnet'

An combination of "robot" and "network," botnet is a group of programs that work together by communicating over the Internet. The word has negative connotations: although botnets can be used perform innocuous tasks, they are often used to send spam email, steal money from bank accounts or perform denial-of-service attacks.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Botnet'

Illegal botnets that do the most damage are made up of hundreds of thousands of computers whose legitimate users don't even realize that malware (malicious software) had been installed on their machines, turning them into "bots" that can be controlled by the botnet's operator. Botnets exploit weaknesses in browser security, but often, computer users inadvertently download malware themselves when they click on deceptive pop-ups while browsing. Malware can also arrive via a "Trojan horse," such as an email attachment. Users should always keep their browser security up to date, avoid clicking on suspicious links and pop-ups, and avoid opening attachments that they suspect may contain malware. Botnets are able to make it look as if the attachment came from one of the user's contacts. Check with the sender before opening an unexpected attachment. The sender is probably unaware that their computer has become recruited into a botnet and is sending spam. (For related reading, see: Does Your Portfolio Need A Does Of Cybersecurity?)

RELATED TERMS
  1. Google Blogger

    Google Blogger is a free publishing platform run by Google (GOOGL). ...
  2. Wordpress (CMS)

    Wordpress is widely considered easy to use and is the CMS of ...
  3. Digital Marketing

    Digital marketing is a subcategory of marketing which uses digital ...
  4. Monthly Active User (MAU)

    Monthly Active User (MAU) is a key performance indicator (KPI) ...
  5. Anonymous (Internet Group)

    Anonymous is most widely known for committing cyber-attacks to ...
  6. Encryption

    Encryption is a means of securing data using a password (key).
RELATED FAQS
  1. How has Google's operations strayed from its original mission statement?

    Google's (GOOG) mission statement has been the same since its inception in 1998: "Organize the world's information and make ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are some examples of Apple and Google's best-selling product lines?

    There are many good examples of product lines in the technology sector from some of the largest companies in the world, such ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are the main reasons for investing in the retail sector?

    The retail sector is diverse, dynamic and extremely susceptible to changing consumer tastes, yet the industry seems to grow ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What average annual return has the internet sector historically generated?

    It is important to add a little sophistication to any review of the historical stock returns for companies in the Internet ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How does government regulation impact the telecommunications sector?

    Regulation in the telecommunications, or telecom, sector is a mixed bag. Historically, telecommunications technology has ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How has electronic retailing (e-tailing) changed the consumer discretionary goods ...

    Electronic retailing has changed the consumer discretionary goods sector by increasing price transparency and product information. ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Fundamental Analysis

    Making Sense of Netflix's Balance Sheet

    Understand how to assess Netflix's performance based on the major components of its balance sheet.
  2. Investing Basics

    Will Jack Dorsey Save Twitter?

    Product visionary and co-founder Jack Dorsey may be the catalyst to turn Twitter's fortunes around if he is retained as permanent CEO.
  3. Investing Basics

    These Four Industries Must Change to Survive

    Tech innovations from new companies are threatening long-time industry stalwarts in transportation, hospitality and finance.
  4. Investing

    3 Reasons Facebook Is Interested In Oculus Rift

    Facebook is a social media company. Oculus Rift is a virtual headset maker. What do they have in common?
  5. Credit & Loans

    Free Credit Score: How Free Is It Really?

    Be careful of websites making bogus offers of "free" credit scores. If a site asks for credit card information, you'll most likely end up being charged.
  6. Professionals

    5 Must-Read Blogs for Financial Advisors

    Financial advisors should know what industry experts are dishing about. Here are five blogs to bookmark.
  7. Personal Finance

    How Express Scripts Makes Money

    The pharmacy benefit manager claims to lower prescription drug costs for consumers, medical providers, and health insurance companies and makes a tidy profit along the way.
  8. Investing

    Is Pandora Set For A Rebound?

    Pandora stock is showing signs of a rebound. The beaten-down stock has picked up after the release of 2Q '15 results and the outlook seems promising.
  9. Stock Analysis

    ETF Analysis: PowerShares QQQ Trust

    Learn more about one of the most popular and widely traded exchange-traded funds in the world: Invesco PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQ) ETF.
  10. Investing

    PayPal Vs. Venmo: Function versus Fun

    PayPal and Venmo are both great services depending on what the customer wants.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Topless Meeting

    A meeting in which participants are not allowed to use laptops. A topless meeting organizer can also ban the use of smartphones, ...
  2. Hedging Transaction

    A type of transaction that limits investment risk with the use of derivatives, such as options and futures contracts. Hedging ...
  3. Bogey

    A buzzword that refers to a benchmark used to evaluate a fund's performance. The benchmark is an index that reflects the ...
  4. Xetra

    An all-electronic trading system based in Frankfurt, Germany. Launched in 1997 and operated by the Deutsche Börse, the Xetra ...
  5. Nuncupative Will

    A verbal will that must have two witnesses and can only deal with the distribution of personal property. A nuncupative will ...
  6. OsMA

    An abbreviation for Oscillator - Moving Average. OsMA is used in technical analysis to represent the variance between an ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!