Following up the fun we had yesterday with the fictional uprising of the Skynet computer network from the Terminator series, we thought we’d touch base on a more serious issue.

Botnets and the negative activities they can promote are one of the banes of online companies, and we’re no exception. Two major problems they pose for us are spam and DDoS attacks, but luckily we’ve taken preventative measures to protect against both threats. The good news is that there are recent positive signs that we (the Internet as a whole) may be making some progress in winning the war against botnets.

Progress Made

There have been several recent news events surrounding the takedown of botnets by the FBI in coordination with various tech companies. The two biggest recent takedowns have been the Rustock Botnet, which may have been responsible for up to a third of all email spam, and the Coreflood Botnet that was responsible for wire fraud and bank fraud.

A long Way to Go

However, there are plenty more botnets in existence with new ones still being built, and web spam is by no means a shrinking problem. Domain.com has taken actions to deal with both issues, specifically with our spam filtering built into our email products and our use of a CDN (Content Delivery Network) for our website. The CDN has proved to be particularly vital, as people sometimes use “domain.com” as an example or test domain, for both good and bad purposes. This includes as a testing domain for DDoS attacks, with the attackers likely not even realize they’re targeting our website in the process. However, our CDN has handled some huge DDoS attacks with ease, resulting in improved uptime and reliability for our website visitors. If you have a high-volume website and uptime is key, we highly recommend looking into a CDN.

How is Domain.com Helping?

Domain.com is helping to protect you and the web in several ways. Our fraud and abuse  teams do an outstanding job making sure customers purchasing domains and using our web hosting are legitimate and do not have illegal or spammy intent for their services. Our automated security scripts for web hosting also regularly check to make sure our web hosting servers and customer content are free of viruses, malware, and other exploits that could lead to the creation of botnets or mass-spamming. We also work with government authorities when necessary to shut down customers who are abusing our services or using them for illegal activities per our registration agreements.

How can you help?

In general, be informed on how to stay safe online. Use strong passwords and keep various passwords for various logins, so that cracking your email won’t give an intruder access to your bank accounts, social profiles, etc.

Make sure you also perform good system scans for viruses and malware, as botnets only grow when they are able to compromise new computers. Individual computers running outdated software are often the easiest targets for hackers and automated scripts looking to compromise computers.

For more info, we recommend visiting StaySafeOnline.org for tips on how to improve your web security.

Winning the War?

There is certainly a long way to go in winning the war against malicious activity online, but at Domain.com we feel that a spam-free and abuse-free Internet is a realistic possibility in the long-term. The key to getting there is spreading knowledge among all users about the tactics that hackers utilize and how to protect against them. This is part of the reason we’re big fans of (and sponsors of) Internet TV show Hak5, which includes information on common hacking methods and the best ways to defend against them. Host Darren Kitchen is an extremely seasoned web security expert, so if you’re a tech geek who wants to learn more, we definitely recommend checking out the show.

Have thoughts on Internet security we haven’t addressed here? Feel free to leave your questions or thoughts in the comments below.