How Do Cybercriminals Use Your Devices to Attack Others?

Cybercriminals Use Your Devices


CybercriminalsThreat actors don’t always use their own hardware to commit cybercrimes. Sometimes, they use your resources to carry about malicious campaigns. Botnets are just one tool cybercriminals use to hijack your PCs or devices. 

What are Botnets? 

With distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on the rise, everyone wants to know what is a botnet exactly? In a nutshell, a botnet is a program that runs automated scripts over a network. And what do you get when you make a network of bots? A botnet, of course. 

Hackers that use malware to compromise computers and devices and use them as bots are known as bot herders. Computers or devices that become part of the botnet and follow the goals of command-and-control servers are usually innocent participants in some of the following schemes: 

1. DDoS attacks

The term was mentioned above, so you’re probably wondering what is a DDoS attack? To keep it brief, a DDoS attack is when a hacker tries to overwhelm a website with excessive traffic, often from a sea of bots in a botnet. Websites that are prepared for such attacks usually survive, but platforms run by small companies with few resources can suffer long-term damage to their business. 

2. Ad Fraud

Hackers use hijacked devices to send fake traffic to online ads and make money by defrauding marketers. 

3. Ransomware Attacks

With a Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) powered by bots, a cybercriminal can breach network security, take advantage of exploits, and drop malware like spyware or ransomware. While spyware can help a hacker steal sensitive data, a threatening ransomware strain can help them blackmail organizations by holding their data hostage. 

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4. Spam 

Have you ever wondered who is behind the countless Spam emails that end up in your junk box every day? Well, it might not be Joe Hacker diligently sending one email at a time. Cybercriminals can use spam botnets to send over billions of fraudulent messages every day. Spambots can help distribute less threatening malware like adware or more sophisticated malicious emails that trick recipients into exposing their sensitive data.

Besides botnets, hackers can use your device against your friends and family in other ways too. 


A backdoor is when a threat actor opens a backdoor into your system and gains control, either by exploiting vulnerabilities like software or hardware weaknesses or by using malware like Trojans. After gaining control of your system, a hacker may use your system to attack others. 

Public WiFi

It’s a bad idea to use unsecured public WiFi because hackers can exploit such networks to breach your system. For instance, a hacker can take over your communications on a public WiFi network and convince your loved ones that you need money urgently in an urgency. 

To stop hackers from gaining control of your system, try the following steps:

  • Download cybersecurity software known for its anti-malware prowess. 
  • Get the latest security patches for your software to plug exploits. 
  • Use a VPN with WireGuard to secure public WiFi for your laptop or mobile devices. 
  • Set a sophisticated password for your computers, mobile devices, and smart home devices.

Implement the best security measures today to shield yourself and others from hackers.

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