Learning Center - What is a DDoS botnet?

Botnet attacks are responsible for the largest DDoS attacks on record. Learn how devices become infected with botnet malware, how bots are remotely controlled, and how to protect a network from a botnet infestation. A botnet refers to a group of computers which have been infected by malware and have come under the control of a malicious actor. The term botnet is a portmanteau from the words robot and network and each infected device is called a bot. Botnets can be designed to accomplish illegal or malicious tasks including sending spam, stealing data, ransomware, fraudulently clicking on ads or distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

While some malware, such as ransomware, will have a direct impact on the owner of the device, DDoS botnet malware can have different levels of visibility; some malware is designed to take total control of a device, while other malware runs silently as a background process while waiting silently for instructions from the attacker or “bot herder.” Learn more in the Cloudflare Learning Center.


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