A botnet (from “robot network”) is a group of computers that are remotely and simultaneously controlled to achieve the same goal. The purpose of a botnet is to automate repetitive tasks and coordinate actions, taking advantage of the power of multiple computers. The term was originally applied to describe nonmalicious programs that are used to manage Internet relay chat (IRC) channels. The usefulness and power of controlling a large group of computers progressively led to an abuse of their capabilities for malicious actions. These malicious botnets became one of the most important security problems of the Internet around the year 2000 with the proliferation of automated attacks and infections. Since then, botnets have grown into the main support infrastructure of profit-oriented malicious online activities.

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