The Zombie On Your Desk



Daemon by Daniel Suarez

By Daniel Suarez

If you've never heard the term 'botnet', take note of it now- because your home computer may have joined one without your knowledge. A botnet is an army of compromised personal computers which have been stealthily pressed into service by high-tech criminal gangs. Infecting personal computers with malicious software (or 'malware') via the Internet is now entirely automated, so if you believe that anonymity protects you from attack, you're mistaken. In fact, an unprotected computer linked to the Internet can be infected within minutes and folded into a botnet army intent on causing harm to other systems.

Individual computers participating in a botnet are known as 'zombies' because they take their instructions from a central command and control node that focuses the combined processing power of the botnet to attack government and commercial enterprises, crack encryption, and steal valuable data. These botnets can consist of millions of machines just like yours and they behave much like natural organisms (resisting eradication, reproducing, etc.). Furthermore, the malicious software is so stealthy, you might never know it's there - except for tell-tale signs like slow processing and reduced Internet speed.

Contrary to popular belief, most malware is not the product of teen malcontents working out of their mom's basement. Instead, malware has become a highly sophisticated multinational criminal enterprise - one which engages the skills of some of the most sophisticated software developers on the planet. So sophisticated, in fact, that there is currently a war being waged for control of the Internet. And your home computer is on the front lines.

Recent statistics from the botnet wars are not encouraging. Botnet-based Internet attacks against commercial and government networks have increased over the past two years from 333,000 to 7.2 million daily -- an increase of 2,162% despite a combined major effort by government and the private sector to eradicate them (source: USA Today, March 16, 2008). That's a worrisome trend line.

How did we get into this mess? Well, the ARPANET (the first packet-switching network on which current Internet protocols are based) was developed in the 1960's as a means to create a robust communications system over potentially unreliable network connections. As such, it was inherently 'open' - that is, it defaulted to accepting connections to make it easier for far-flung groups of scientists and government officials to communicate electronically. Fast-forward to today and we find that the Internet has been tasked with providing critical infrastructure services such as online banking, stock trading, remote control of machinery, and a host of other tasks. Securing all of this has meant going against the original network's intent, which is what makes it so difficult to lock down.

Completely solving the software security crisis might require a major infrastructural change - a redesigned Internet. In the meantime, however, there are a few simple steps you can take to limit your exposure.

First, realize there's no such thing as an unimportant computer, especially when it's linked to the Internet. Don't leave unused machines running, and make sure to apply software patches out of a sense of civic duty, if nothing else. Lastly, consider setting up a non-administrator account for everyday use and especially while surfing the Internet. A non-administrator logon with reduced privileges can prevent a wide range of worms from installing themselves in the first place. Check your OS documentation for the relatively simple steps involved in creating a non-Admin logon. By doing so, you'll be helping to protect not just yourself, but other Internet users as well.

'The Fedcoin is HERE': Glenn Beck reveals what the Fed was up to while YOU weren’t watching

Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

While Americans were preparing for Thanksgiving last Wednesday afternoon, the Federal Reserve moved forward with its "Central Bank Digital Currency" program, and that wasn't the only controversial policy that was rolled out while you weren’t watching.

On the radio program, Glenn Beck reviewed the latest financial stories you may have missed over the holiday weekend, including how Biden's pause on student loan payments may be extended again and yet another sketchy Hunter Biden investment.

"You might have missed what happened Wednesday afternoon at the Fed," Glenn began. "They started their CBDC, Central Bank Digital Currency. Yes, the Fedcoin is here. Now they rolled it out on Wednesday — I mean, that was the only day they could do it, you know, because they've been denying that any of this stuff was happening. But they could only get it [launched] when no one was paying attention. So they rolled it out, and it's in its beta test now."

"By the way, India just rolled out its retail pilot program for digital rupees as well. But don't worry," he continued. "Maybe we should start having the conversation of, 'Gosh, this looks like the mark of the beast.' I mean, doesn't it? But surely it's not. Of course not. Not from the U.S. government. They never do anything underhanded or evil. Never."

Watch the video clip below. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

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To enjoy more of Glenn’s masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis, and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.

BIGGER than Tiananmen Square? Here's what the China protests are REALLY about

(Left) Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images/ (Right) Video screenshot

China has been locking its citizens down for over two years under its zero-COVID policy, and it's becoming more and more clear that this isn’t just about COVID but something much more serious: slavery and control. Now it looks like many citizens have had enough. Protests are currently spreading throughout China and, unlike during the Tiananmen Square protests, the word is getting out.

On Monday's radio program, Glenn Beck looked into the protests' "real motivations," explained how they’re different from the 1989 protests at Tiananmen Square, and predicted how these events are a "game-changer for the entire world."

Watch the video clip below. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn’s masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis, and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.

The American Journey Experience is the new home of the car Orson Welles gave to Rita Hayworth. Orson Welles gave this car to his future wife Rita Hayworth for her 24th birthday.

George Orson Welles was an American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter who is remembered for his innovative and influential work in film, radio and theatre. He is considered to be among the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time and his work has had a great impact on American culture.

Every year as Thanksgiving approaches, the fear of politics being brought up at the dinner table is shared by millions around the country. But comedian Jamie Kilstein has a guide for what you should do to avoid the awkward political turmoil so you can enjoy stuffing your face full of turkey.

Kilstein joined "The Glenn Beck Program" to dissect exactly how you can handle those awkward, news-related discussions around the table on Thanksgiving and provided his 3-step guide to help you survive the holidays with your favorite, liberal relatives: Find common ground, don’t take obvious bait, and remember that winning an argument at the cost of a family member won’t fix the issue you’re arguing about.

Watch the video clip below. Can't watch? Download the podcast here.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn’s masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis, and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.