Botnets, networks of infected machines that are used by cybercriminals everywhere to do their sinister bidding, are still a huge threat, and everyone should be paying much more attention to it.
The latest research from the CenturyLInk Threat Research Lab says last year, there were roughly 195,000 threats every day, impacting more than 100 million unique targets.
The US, Russia, China, Brazil and Ukraine are the countries most mentioned in the report, from different perspectives. These are the countries with strong, or rapidly growing IT networks and infrastructure. This makes them both the source, and the target of most of cybercriminal activity. Most victims are located in these countries, as well as most command and control servers.
The report also says that the Mirai botnet was unfairly being treated in the media as the most dangerous one – it’s actually Gafgyt that affected more victims and had “noticeably” longer attack durations.
"Botnets are one of the foundational tools bad actors rely on to steal sensitive data and launch DDoS attacks," said Mike Benjamin, head of CenturyLink's Threat Research Labs. "By analysing global botnet attack trends and methods, we're better able to anticipate and respond to emerging threats in defence of our own network and those of our customers."
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