Bad Bots: When intrusion is automated, everyone becomes a potential target.

Updated: 08.14.2019

When it comes to keeping a secure network, being small or unknown doesn't protect your network.

When most people think about being hacked they imagine someone—an actual person—perpetrating the attack. Although some targets might get the personal attention of a human, most hacking is done automatically by network-aware sofware collectively called 'bots'. Some bots are used for benign reasons, such as search engine crawlers. Others are bad bots created to scour the internet for vulnerable systems.

Many people believe that because they have little of value, they are not a target for hacking attempts.

Bad bot traffic has steadily risen each year, and 2019 is expected to be a big year for bad bots. Sophisticated, malicious bots are capable of finding holes in security, gaining entry, and installing a copy of itself into the compromised system. After it has gained a foothold, the bot may download additional malware, tools, and settings. It might even notify an actual human that the system is now accessible with ease so they can come poke around later.

Who would waste their time trying to hack your network?

Many people believe that because they have little of value, they are not a target for hacking attempts. Bots are designed to be indiscriminate because every system or network has value as another host to infect other systems.

After analyzing logs from a home router spanning a 24 hour period, we found over 5,000 attempts by bad bots looking for security holes.

Unfortunately, average people don't take network security seriously, so bad bots account for almost a quarter of all internet traffic. Bad bots have infected everything from security cameras to wifi routers and added them to their ranks.

How bad could it be?

After analyzing logs from a home router spanning a 24 hour period, we found over 5,000 attempts by bad bots looking for security holes.

What can be done?

  • Hire IT personnel or an MSP to monitor and update systems.
  • Keep your computers and network devices up to date.
  • Prevent security cameras from accessing the internet.
  • Consider buying a better modem/router than your ISP offers by default. Look for ones with robust firewalls.
  • Consider an Intrusion Detection System.
  • Have an expert review your network security for vulnerabilities.

With a bit of regular upkeep and dilligance, you can help greatly improve your network security and help prevent the spread of bad bots.

Added 08.14.2019 More information: Entreprenuer: "More Than 150,000 U.S. Small-Business Websites Could Be Infected With Malware at Any Given Moment..." Verizon: "2019 Data Breach Investigations Report"