Beware the Assembling Bot Army: Vast Infected Computer Force

pcworld.comBy Tim Greene, NetworkWorld

A mammoth army of infected computers is being assembled, but it's unclear yet what purpose they will be put to.

Wave after wave of malicious e-mail attachments has been sent out since August, and with average success rates for such mailings, millions of machines could be compromised, says Internet security firm Commtouch.

Once infected, the computers can be loaded with additional malware that can perform a range of activities, including spamming, participating in DDoS attacks, stealing bank credentials and compromising e-mail and social-network accounts, according to an upcoming Commtouch blog post. (See also "How to Avoid Malware.")

But what this botnet will do remains a mystery. "The purpose of this vast computing force is still not clear," the blog says.

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