Botnet is a jargon term for a collection of software agents, or robots, that run autonomously and automatically. The term is most commonly associated with malicious software, but it can also refer to a network of computers using distributed computing software.
The network of computers having that specific software installed, can be used for attacking services and infrastructures, since the software enables users or groups of users to take control of the computers and use them usually for nefarious purposes.
According to Verisign iDefense botnets are available for rent on the Internet for users who just want to use them, for just $8.94 per hour. It is obvious that it is more than easy for users or groups that don’t have the technical knowledge or huge amount of money to to hire of botnet services instead. This allows a wider range of cybercriminals to launch attacks designed to shut down a targeted company’s systems or to spread malicious software.
For example, the Mariposa botnet case in March, which was responsible for stealing credit card numbers, and account details using a network of 12.7 million computers, is proved that was created by non-technical knowledge people.