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Cyber Safety Glossary

Zombie Drones

Also Known As:
Zombies.

Description:
Personal computers secretly under the control of hackers are called Zombie Drones. Hackers often network Zombie Drones into groups (see Botnet) in order to carry out spam campaigns and to shut down Web sites in denial-of-service attacks. Hackers have turned Zombie Drones into servers hosting pornography and used their control of the computer to steal personal identity information. Because the activities of Zombie Drones are hidden from view, most consumers will not realize their home computers have been compromised. The term Zombie Drone is a taken from voodoo — the belief that the dead can be resurrected as Zombies and put under the total control of a voodoo priest.

How to Recognize This Threat:
Personal computers that become increasingly sluggish may be infected with Zombie Drone malicious software — also known as malware. Most of the Zombie Drone infections are believed to come from interaction with chat groups or through file sharing or visiting online casinos and adult Web sites. Sometimes these non-mainstream sites offer content that can only be viewed using one of their own media players. The malware is hidden in the player and infects the PC when the player is downloaded. Zombie Drone malware can also be delivered through email attachments.

What Should I Do:
If you believe your personal computer has been infected with this malware, have it checked by computer services organization. After the PC has been swept clean of possible viruses, worms, Trojan Horses, Spyware, and other Malware, install anti-virus and anti-Spyware software, as well as a firewall. Use a Spam filter. Be wary of opening email attachments, stick to mainstream Web sites, and be exceptionally careful about what you download from the Internet.