Zombie Network

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What Does Zombie Network Mean?

A zombie network is a network or collection of compromised computers or hosts that are connected to the Internet. A compromised computer becomes a zombie that is wirelessly controlled through standards based networking protocols like HTTP and Internet Relay Chat (IRC).

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A zombie network is also known as a botnet.

Techopedia Explains Zombie Network

Computers become part of a zombie network through malicious software (malware) that is unknowingly installed by users or automatically installed through a security network’s back door, or by exploiting Web browser vulnerabilities. The malware leaves specified networking ports open, allowing computer access by outside users. Zombie networks run similar types of malware that may be multiple networks operated by different criminal entities (cyber or otherwise).

Types of attacks perpetrated by a zombie network include denial of service attacks, adware, spyware, spam and click fraud.

The following steps, or a variation, are used to create zombie networks:

  • A zombie network operator uses a bot to infect thousands of computers with worms or viruses that carry a deadly payload.
  • The bot inside an infected computer logs on to an online server – usually IRC but sometimes Web.
  • The zombie network operator leases zombie network services to a customer.
  • The customer provides the zombie network operator with spam or any other material, which is run through the zombie network.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.