Because the owner tends to be unaware, these computers are metaphorically compared to fictional zombies. A coordinated DDoS attack by multiple botnet machines also resembles a "zombie horde attack", as depicted in fictional zombie films. This spam also greatly furthers the spread of Trojan horses, as Trojans are not self-replicating. They rely on the movement of e-mails or spam to grow, whereas worms can spread by other means.
Zombie Files: Gangs, Drugs, Politics and Voodoo under the Mandate of the United Nations by Max Kail
Others can host phishing or money mule recruiting websites. Zombies can be used to conduct distributed denial-of-service DDOS attacks, a term which refers to the orchestrated flooding of target websites by large numbers of computers at once. The large number of Internet users making simultaneous requests of a website's server is intended to result in crashing and the prevention of legitimate users from accessing the site. Committed by "pulsing" zombies, distributed degradation-of-service is the moderated and periodical flooding of websites, done with the intent of slowing down rather than crashing a victim site.
The effectiveness of this tactic springs from the fact that intense flooding can be quickly detected and remedied, but pulsing zombie attacks and the resulting slow-down in website access can go unnoticed for months and even years. In , several prominent Web sites Yahoo , eBay , etc.
An attack on grc. Steve Gibson disassembled a 'bot' which was a zombie used in the attack, and traced it to its distributor. In his account about his research, he describes the operation of a 'bot'-controlling IRC channel. Beginning in July , similar botnet capabilities have also emerged for the growing smartphone market. Examples include the July in the "wild" release of the Sexy Space text message worm, the world's first botnet capable SMS worm, which targeted the Symbian operating system in Nokia smartphones.
Later that month, researcher Charlie Miller revealed a proof of concept text message worm for the iPhone at Black Hat Briefings.
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In the s, the security community is divided as to the real world potential of mobile botnets. But in an August interview with The New York Times , cyber security consultant Michael Gregg summarized the issue this way: "We are about at the point with [smart]phones that we were with desktops in the '80s. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the use of the term in science fiction, see Zombie apocalypse.
This article is about the term "zombie" in computer security. PC World.
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