Botnet Herder

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What Does Botnet Herder Mean?

A botnet herder, or bot herder, is an individual who controls and maintains a botnet by installing malicious software in numerous machines, putting these machines into his or her control. These “herds” of bot machines, also called zombies, can then be used to attack or infect other machines. The herder takes control of the botnet through a command-and-control server communicating via protocols like Internet Relay Chat (IRC) or peer-to-peer (P2P) networking. Botnet herders can also rent their herds to other cybercriminals.


Techopedia Explains Botnet Herder

Botnet herders have found ways to widen their area of attack. They have posted jobs online offering opportunities for individuals with a computer and a home office. Behind this job opportunity lies a plan to infect computers all over the globe by using innocent job seekers.

With this alarming incident taking place, the public should be aware of ways to determine whether their computer has been infected by cybercriminals:

  • It unexpectedly shuts down, locks up or even just turns off.
  • The computer does not recognize installed peripheral devices like scanners and printers.
  • It would seem that the computer is running programs even if none are open, which is evidenced by internal noises like a spinning hard drive and some beeping noises.
  • Contacts say they are getting strange email from another user’s account.
  • Weird or unknown error messages appear.
  • Files get corrupted or disappear and antivirus software either runs too quickly or too slowly.

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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.