FAQs about Bots

What is a bot?

A bot (AKA a drone) is an infected computer or device that has become one part of a botnet. Botnets are networks of computers or devices that are connected and controlled remotely by a hacker to carry out malicious tasks as a group. These bots can be used in many kinds of computer attacks.

What happens if my computer or device is infected as a bot?

If your device is infected as a bot, the hacker controlling the botnet can:

  • Use your device to participate in an internet service attack.
  • Disrupt your access to the internet.
  • Send out spam from your device.
  • Replace banner ads in your web browser specifically targeting you.
  • Generate pop-up ads designed to get you to pay for the removal of the botnet through a phony anti-spyware service.
  • In certain situations, allow hackers to steal your credentials like passwords and other sensitive information like banking and credit card information.

How do I avoid my computer or device becoming infected or compromised by malware that could potentially turn it into a bot?

Here are ways you can prevent or treat your computer or device becoming a bot:

  • Perform a thorough virus and malware scan on your device using downloadable applications like the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool.
  • If you have anti-virus software installed, make sure you’re always updated with the latest version.
  • If you’ve completed the above but your device is still acting strangely, bring it to a third-party computer repair technician to solve the problem.