Bots (Zombie PCs) Stay Infected for Months Instead of Weeks

Did you know security experts have recently found out that if your computer was taken over by a hacker, or turned into a bot, that it could remain infected for several months?

Security experts now believe that systems taken control of by hackers, or "Zombie" computers, to spread malware and spam messages to computer users around the world, remain infected for longer periods of time than originally thought.

Computer security researchers and experts previously thought that the average computer infected with a parasite, that turns it into a bot, remained infected for about six weeks. Having thought this, it would only allow an attacker a relatively small window to use the compromised system to perform malicious actions for weeks. Now it has been discovered that bots remain infected for upwards of 10 months. That is a large discrepancy that could mean the difference of an infection such as Koobface, a social networking worm infection, to reach tens of thousands of systems instead of just hundreds.

How was the conclusion of botnets remaining infected for months reached?

Research published by security software maker Trend Micro shows how 100 million compromised IP address that were analyzed resulted in more than half of them being infected for at least 300 days. Through their analysis, Trend Micro was able to demonstrate which countries have a larger percentage of compromised systems and established that Koobface, one of the most dangerous botnets on the Web, has at least 51,000 compromised computers under its belt.

There are new technologies that are becoming available to alleviate the growing threat of botnets. Because it is a relatively small group that controls the majority of botnets, it can be controlled and the perpetrators eventually caught.

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