Researchers Try to Stalk Botnets Used by Hackers

Researchers Try to Stalk Botnets Used by Hackers
Researchers Try to Stalk Botnets Used by Hackers

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The New York Times
July 27, 2009

Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, Calif., are 
creating what is in effect a vast digital petri dish able to hold one 
million operating systems at once in an effort to study the behavior of 
rogue programs known as botnets.

Botnets are used extensively by malicious computer hackers to steal 
computing power from Internet-connected computers. The hackers harness 
the stolen resources into a scattered but powerful computer that can be 
used to send spam, execute phishing scams or steal digital information. 
These remote-controlled =E2=80=9Cdistributed computers=E2=80=9D are difficult to observe 
and track.

Botnets may take over parts of tens of thousands or in some cases even 
millions of computers, making them among the world=E2=80=99s most powerful 
computers for some applications.

=E2=80=9CWhen a forest is on fire you can fly over it, but with a cyberattack 
you have no clear idea of what it looks like,=E2=80=9D said Ron Minnich, a 
Sandia scientist who specializes in computer security. =E2=80=9CIt=E2=80=99s an 
extremely difficult task to get a global picture.=E2=80=9D


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