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Security vendors combine to fight botnets strong enough to take down whole countries

New reports reveal alarming scope of botnet problem and their primary targets, spurring vendor alliance to fight back.

New reports from McAfee Inc. and Microsoft Corp. warn that botnet armies have become so serious a threat that botnet attacks can take entire countries offline. The chief target for those breeding and controlling bots? Windows machines.

McAfee's report describes the plight of an unnamed Central American country that suffered widespread network outages from more than 6 million botnet attacks per week.

Most were distributed denial of service attacks, which eventually got so bad they took out Internet access across the whole country, taking everything from ATMs to VoIP networks offline.

A separate report from Microsoft indicates that Windows machines are the primary targets of malware designed to seed and breed botnets using computers owned by innocent bystanders.

The problem of highly organized, criminal botnet attacks is so bad that a group of security vendors led by Simplicita Software Inc. have joined together to create a global monitoring network to identify, quarantine and disinfect bot-infested computers.

The original version of this story appeared on TechTarget's

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