Zombies and botnets: Help keep your computer under your control

Tuesday, 6 March 2007, 10:25 AM EST

Online criminals can use a virus to take control of large numbers of computers at a time, and turn them into "zombies" that can work together as a powerful "botnet" to perform malicious tasks.

Botnets, which can include as many as 100,000 individual "zombie" computers, can distribute spam e-mail, spread viruses, attack other computers and servers, and commit other kinds of crime and fraud. Botnets are highly valued by online criminals, and have become a serious problem on the Internet.

At Microsoft.

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