Bot networks are still a huge threat on the Internet. They are usually established with the use of computer worms that exploit old and new security vulnerabilities. A network security software like Bothunter can be helpful in determining if a computer network has been compromised. It does so by analysing the communication that is happening on the local network.
The software has been designed to discover communication patterns that are typical for malware infected computers. While Bothunter has been designed as a network security software that can analyze the traffic of the network it can also be used to analyze a single computer or basic home network.
Bothunter is supplied as a Linux or Windows version. The Linux version comes as a installation but also in form of a live CD that can be used from any computer that is capable of booting from CD and compatible with Ubuntu Linux.
Bothunter needs some configuration in the beginning. Most home users will only need to enter the local network IP which they can discover this way:
Click the Windows desktop Start Menu, Control Panel, Network Connections. Find the local area connection that is "Connected". Double click the connected network icon. Click the Support Tab. Your IP address will be listed.
Optional data like the IP address of SMTP servers or DNS servers can be entered if they are used in the computer network. Home users usually leave these information blank. The only other information needed is the network adapter that should be used to scan and analyse the computer network.
Once that is done the network security software will scan the computer network in two minute intervals and display any potential bot infection in the interface.
Update: The Bothunter website returns a connection timed out error at the moment. It is not clear if this is a larger issue, for instance indicating that the website and program have been pulled by the developers from the Internet, or a temporary issue experienced. I have removed the link to the website for now, but will check back later to see if the site is back up. For now, it is best to use a program like Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to scan a PC for malicious software.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.