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Buzzword: Botnet

Marketplace Staff Jan 12, 2007

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The rise of the machines brings us this week’s Marketplace Money buzzword: botnet.

A botnet isn’t an evil cyborg sent from the future, it’s a group of computers which hackers commandeer to send evil viruses and spam, often without the computer owners even knowing.

This week, the security company Postini, said 94 percent of all e-mail sent in December was spam. Botnets were the biggest culprits. They also pump out enough damaging viruses to infect 250,000 computers per day. Thanks to quicker Internet connections, experts say no matter how fast they terminate botnets, they’ll be back.

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