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A Botnet is used to describe software robots or bots which operate independently and automatically. However, the term is more commonly used to describe a number of computers which are infected by a worm, Trojan horse or other software, so that they can be controlled remotely. The actual owner of the computer is usually unaware of the infection.
The programmer who has developed the Botnet uses a number of tools to gain control of computers like exploits, buffer overflows. Some of the newer bots scan computers on the network and multiply by exploiting vulnerabilities in the system like weak passwords. The greater the scanning capacity of the bot, the more valuable it will be. A bot usually runs hidden on the computer.
A botnet's originator controls the bots remotely, usually through a IRC server. Though most conventional IRC networks are blocking botnets, they still form a significant part of the internet, using a variety of connections like dialup, ADSL, cable and network types like corporate, educational and government.
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