Day in the Life of a Bot
February 10, 2020
Back to the grind — time to review what needs to get done today. As a botnet, I have a very interesting job in some ways, but in others, it feels like the movie Groundhog Day. I originally was built by a criminal organization to conduct distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and then demand "protection" money to make sure it didn't happen again. Not a very innovative business model, but why fix what isn't broken?!
I'm fortunate in that my owners have kept my code on the cutting edge, so I can be used for newer attacks like credential stuffing, brute-force password cracking, cryptomining, and even as a ticket bot to scoop up the best seats for resale. Some of my friends work as aggregators, spam bots, web scrapers, or search engines, and while we all do similar functions, I'm doing the truly exciting stuff.
Over time, both the systems I'm made of and the types of criminal business models I'm used for have changed. Today, some of my network of hacked computers are part of the Internet of Things, such as home video surveillance cameras. As long as they have good computing power and connectivity, I'm an equal opportunity employer.
Byline article by Akamai Senior Director Security Technology and Strategy Steve Winterfeld.