How worried should you be about botnets?

It seems there is a high-profile technology security problem in the news every week, and while this coverage is great for educating people, it can leave the public slightly jaded and unresponsive to internet security threats. In the wake of recent security breaches, eBay, Spotify and Office, amongst others, have called for their customers to address potential vulnerabilities by changing their passwords. Many people probably haven’t acted upon this advice, and it is this complacent ‘it couldn’t happen to me attitude’ which can ultimately result in security breaches.

This week I was asked to comment on an internet security situation which has been getting plenty of attention from the press. One publication ran with a front-page headline claiming you only had ‘Two weeks to save your computer from major cyber attack.’ Clearly the media sensationalises in order to gain attention and to sell, but do they have a point? I’ll try and explain what happened in this story and what you should do to ensure you are safeguarded.

I am the Managing Director for an internet hosting provider called Tagadab, a Claranet Group Company. Alongside many other service suppliers we worked with the FBI to help de-stabilise a botnet controlled by a major cybercrime syndicate.

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