Recently, there was big news about North Korea hacking into Sony to hold it hostage because of a movie that poked fun at their “supreme” leader. It is alleged that some REALLY smart hackers had hit North Korea with a taste of its own medicine. What if North Korea didn’t do the hack and had nothing to do with the Sony hack? Did conspiracy theorists convince some “patriotic” hackers to attack North Korea?
It isn’t hard to disrupt someone’s connection to the Internet. The Internet connection at the average business or home is a lot like a telephone. It can be disrupted by merely making continuous request attempts. If you are already on the telephone, you can’t receive another telephone call. The Internet connection is able to handle multiple connections but there is a limit. Too many connections will cause the computer to not respond or “crash” and disrupt legitimate communications.
If you were inexperienced, you might try to inundate a rival or enemy’s Internet connection with too much traffic. This is a basic attack approach but there is a problem. The source of a network attack can be easily traced. You will be the target of a revenge attack.
If you were a bit more sophisticated, you would gain control of computers that had no connection to you. You could launch an attack and your victim wouldn’t know that you had caused the problem.
Gaining control of innocent computers is done with viruses. There are all kinds of methods to deliver a payload to your computer. It may be sitting on a website, waiting for someone to connect to the website. You could also receive an email that contains and launches a virus when you open the email and attachments. If you are someone who likes to download “free” software, you might have infected your computer.
Somehow a virus was downloaded installed on your computer. Viruses can do all kinds of nasty things but in this example, your computer becomes a member of a “bot” network. A bot network is a group of computers that are under control by someone other than the owner. At a time determined by the remote user, your computer could join hundreds or thousands of other slaves on the bot network to attack a victim.
Viruses are old news but I am always surprised how many computers are brought in to repair viruses. Your computer belongs to you. You paid for it. Shouldn’t you be the beneficiary of having a computer? You should be motivated to keep your computer virus free. Virus infected computers disrupt network communications. Don’t let your computer add to the mess on the Internet. If everyone was serious about keeping the Internet virus free, the Internet would be a better place.