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Typically, a botnet is a network of personal computers that, unbeknownst to their owners, have been infected with software that can be used to send spam or execute cyber attacks. It is estimated that one in four personal computers in the United States is part of a botnet.For the first ...

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Zombie Cell Phones

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Zombie cell phones!

Posted by Caitlin on July 22nd, 2009

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Typically, a botnet is a network of personal computers that, unbeknownst to their owners, have been infected with software that can be used to send spam or execute cyber attacks. It is estimated that one in four personal computers in the United States is part of a botnet.

For the first time ever , it seems that hackers have successfully created a botnet that runs on cell phones, rather than computers. Symantec has drawn attention to "Sexy Space," a virus that spreads from one phone to another by sending text messages with a link included. The messages read, "A very sexy girl, Try it now!" and the link asks the user to download software which, of course, infects the user's cell phone and sends the same message to the user's contacts. Viruses that spread through text messages and infect cell phones have been seen before, but the "Sexy Space" virus is unusual in that it communicates with a central server and can be controlled by its creators. If the hackers issue commands to the network of infected phones, it would be considered a true botnet, the first of its kind. How this network of zombie cell phones will be used remains to be seen.

Security software for phones is still being developed. In the meantime, it's crucial for users to be aware of the risks, and avoid downloading unknown software. Be sure to protect your computer with Internet security software , and consider investing in identity theft protection .

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