Facebook Pictures Can Lure You Into A Botnet
For those of you who are related to IT in one way or another, ‘Botnet’ shouldn’t be a new term. However, for those who are unaware, a botnet is a system of computers which are compromised by malware and each individual computer is called a Bot.
A botnet is a very complex method of hacking which may be used to steal your private information without you even knowing it. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology in New Delhi, India have designed Stegobot, a new type of Botnet system which pulls out secret information via social networks by attaching to user profiles. A picture is just a chunk of bytes and nothing more.
So if anyone intends to hide something behind that chunk, that’s not a problem, provided one has the know-how of doing it. Utilizing this concept, Stegobot came in to existence. After your computer gets infected by Stegobot, it employs the technique of steganography to hide data in picture files without altering the picture’s appearance. It will then steal your information and hide it in the memory chunk of your images.
So when you upload these images to your profile, anyone who interacts with them will get affected by Stegobot and his/her system will also become a Bot. Now, these compromised systems can be used by the hacker to store information in them and these Bots will finally transfer all the details to the master Bot controlled by the hacker who can use the information for ‘wrong’ purposes. Luckily, Stegobot is still in labs and so there is no need to worry, at least not yet. Just be careful with what you do on the web.