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.

President Joe Biden and world leaders are spending the week discussing the biggest issues across the globe. But Mike Pompeo, former Secretary of State during the Trump administration, believes more needs to be done.

Pompeo joined the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Tuesday to talk about President Biden's upcoming meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin, and to explain why he believes it's not just "appropriate," but necessary to hold Putin accountable for the recent cyberattacks on the Colonial Pipeline and the JBS meat processing company.

Pompeo said it's likely that "at the very least" Putin turned a blind eye to the major attacks against U.S. infrastructure. He stressed that the Biden administration should not abandon private businesses in the face of these ransomware hacks, but rather do everything possible to make sure those businesses' assets are secure from future invasions.

"This is an attack on America," Pompeo said. "It came through an attack on a commercial enterprise, but the capacity for pipelines to move product around on our east coast is an American national security interest.... We have to help these businesses protect their systems, and then there has to be a national effort to impose costs on those who put American lives at risk by denying available product around our country.

"Putin, at the very least, is turning a blind eye to [the cyberattacks], probably more. So, it's appropriate to hold Vladimir Putin and the Russians accountable for the actions taking place inside of their country," he added. "We have to do it, and there are tools by which we can."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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.

On "The Glenn Beck Radio Program," Glenn read from the Bible's II Timothy 3, in which Paul warns of "perilous times" to come and describes a generation that will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, and the list goes on. Sound familiar?

But Glenn said the times we're facing — which will likely become more and more difficult — are not any graver than what our Founders faced. We can overcome, and while it won't be easy, it will be worth it.

"Just like George Washington and the badge of merit, we will not be able to conquer this evil unless we are on God's side. If we don't have Divine Providence, we will not be able to survive. The things that are arrayed in front of us, are no greater no less than what our Founders had arrayed against them," Glenn stated.

"So, what will we do? You must make those decisions, as a family, right now. What is the line for you that you and your family will not cross? Because if you don't know it now, you will cross it," he warned. "You have to speak out, be that voice. You have to be strong enough to lead."

Glenn went on to thank and praise his audience, saying, "This is the kindest, most generous audience I have ever encountered."

"You will stand. This audience could be the extra 5% that is needed to change things, for the better," he added. "We have great and glorious times, when I believe we will see the hand of God. We will see miracles. Expect them. And live in such a way where you can call them down."

Watch the clip to get Glenn's take on what's coming next and how to prepare yourself and your family.

Want more from Graham Allen?

To enjoy more of Graham's rants, high-profile interviews, skits and journeys into Real America, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

How many times must the corporate media get something completely wrong — and attack anyone who dares to disagree — before we realize who they have become?

On the radio program Friday, Glenn Beck shared an article from the Daily Caller titled, "Eight Anti-Trump Narratives the Media Finally Had to Admit Were False All Along." From the Lafayette Square controversy to the denial that COVID-19 could have anything to do with a lab in China to the "Russian bounties" story, the list of mainstream media conspiracy theories goes on and on. If it were anyone but the liberal media who got the facts this embarrassingly wrong, they would have been out of a job long ago.

Watch the video clip below to hear eight of the most anti-Trump the narratives shamelessly pushed by the media — that were completely wrong.


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.

Former President Barack Obama sat down with CNN's Anderson Cooper recently for an interview scheduled to air in full on Friday. During the interview, Obama scoffed at the idea that critical race theory could be a "threat to our Republic," while claiming that "right-wing media venues" are "stoking the fear and resentment of a white population."

On the radio program Wednesday, Glenn Beck set the record straight: the right-wing media's efforts to call out the far-left have nothing to do with race in America, but rather everything to do with protecting our way of life that is being threatened more and more each day by the radical, Marxist ideology seeping into government.

"Mr. Obama, you lied," Glenn asserted. "You used the IRS to hunt down your enemy. You spied on the media. And your health care package, which was supposed to save every American $3,000 per year, has helped some, perhaps, while raising the cost of everyone's health care in double and triple percentages. But the worst thing that you did, is you planted, you watered, and you protected the Marxist seeds, by crying race."

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn:

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.