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A botnet attack is a type of malicious attack that utilizes a series of connected computers to attack or take down a network, network device, website or an IT environment.
It is perpetrated with the sole intent to disrupt normal working operations or degrade the overall service of the target system.
A botnet attack typically first requires creating numerous botnets or a botnet army. Once the attack is initiated, these botnets are used to send network/Internet-based requests to the target system in a large quantity. These requests can be in the form of simple ping messages to bulk email messages. The attack can slow down the network/server, making it busy enough that other legitimate users are unable to access it or temporarily freeze the server.
Distributed denial of service (DDOS) is common example of a botnet attack that utilizes a number of botnet devices to send a large number of simultaneous requests/packets to the targeted system.