Criminals who seize control of tens of thousands of home and office computers through what are known as "botnets" are a dramatically growing threat, Shawn Henry, deputy assistant director of the FBI’s Cyber Division, tells Newsmax.
A botnet — short for robot network — allows a criminal to seize control of any number of computers by introducing malicious programs like spyware, viruses, worms, or trojan horses into each computer through its Internet connection.
With a single command, the master of the computer network can have each of the slave computers contact a particular computer network, bringing it down because of the sheer demand on its ports. That can cause a company to lose millions of dollars in business. If the target is a police department or hospital, shutting down its computer system can jeopardize public safety or health.