How I Discovered That My Computer is a Zombie Controlled by A Criminal Gang
A while ago I noticed that my fairly new computer started to act weird. It would at random times be very slow while at other times it would run super fast. I ran some anti virus and malware scans but everything came back good.
I spoke to a few friends and I was told that it’s perfectly normal for a computer to behave the way I described. I decided to take their advice and not pay attention to the weird patterns my computer was engaging in.
About two weeks ago I was reading some news online and I came across a story about a group of criminals getting busted for infecting over a million computers with a virus that let’s them steal money from advertisers. As it turns out, they are just one of many criminal groups that infect machines with these viruses. In fact, there are hundreds of millions of computers that are infected.
The way the fraud works is like this. They infect machines with a virus that gets it to browse internet pages secretly. The virus communicates with a command and control system, and gets orders to what pages to visit and what to do on those pages.
The makers behind the virus collect ad money from companies because they show that people are vising their pages and clicking on links.
I had no clue that every year, billions of dollars are stolen from advertisers. I felt horrible thinking about how the computers of innocent people are being used to commit this fraud.
I searched online and found that one of the signs that your computer might be connected to a bot network (botnet) is the computer being slow at random times.
The virus makers programmed the bot not to run all the time, this way, less people notice something is wrong and they can continue using these peoples computers unstopped.
I started to do some research and came across a cybersecurity company called ITinvestigator that has a free software called Zombie Exposer that would check if your machine is a Zombie!
I downloaded the software and installed it. A few days later I get an alert from the ZombieExposer software that it detected something suspicious. It showed me the title of the webpage that my computer was browsing secretly, plus it let me click a button called “Show All” that showed me the actual webpage the bot was browsing! I saw the bot type words into a search box and then click on links! It’s a bad feeling, but it helped me finally solve the slow computer problem and set my mind at ease that I am not helping these criminals steal ad money.
Once I located and removed the virus, my computer started running fast consistently.
You can read more about Zombie Exposer here, its 100% free.