Attack of the Killer Botnets.
April 5, 2014
We are under attack.
The Botnets are coming.
The Botnets are coming.
The Killer Botnet had already arrived.
And they came with a vengeance, roaming like wild herds of the living dead through cyberspace on seek and destroy missions, doing their damndest to wreck havoc on everything in their path.
That meant us.
That meant Caleb and Linda Pirtle.
I don’t know what a Botnet is.
Never seen one.
Never heard of one.
Never met one, not in public anyway.
But they lie in wait.
They hide in the darkness.
And when you least expect it, they’re all over you with reckless abandon, not unlike an assassin in the night.
Stephen Woodfin and I had noticed that Caleb and Linda Pirtle had become terribly sluggish when we tried to upload our posts and serial chapters every day.
We kept receiving messages that said: “You are not connected.”
I didn’t worry at first.
I thought the message was referring to my political and social obligations.
It might as well have said, “Son, you are now dead in the water.”
The site was still working, but it acted like a Model T in a world that was supposed to be occupied by sports cars.
It chugged along.
It no longer purred.
Our design team checked it out for a couple of days, doing diagnostic work in places on the computer and Internet where I would be afraid to go.
Finally, we were given the word.
First, they told us the good news.
Our daily traffic on Caleb and Linda Pirtle had become so high that we were overloading the server.
Then they told us the bad news.
Because the site had so many daily visitors, we had attracted the Botnets.
Sounded terminal to me.
So I tried to find out what a Botnet was, and here is what I found: Bots are one of the most sophisticated and popular types of cybercrime today. They allow hackers to take control of many computers at a time and turn them into zombie computers.
That’s all I needed.
I’m not really comfortable trying to run a good, honest, small town Presbyterian computer that helps little old ladies across the street, rescues stray dogs, and is a card-carrying member of the Kiwanis Club and the PTA.
Having a Zombie computer scared the hell out of me.
I’d rather the Walking Dead walk in a galaxy far, far away.
Caleb and Linda Pirtle was affected.
However, Caleb and Linda Pirtle wasn’t infected.
The firewall, our design team told us, was too strong and virtually impenetrable.
The Botnets had tried, but none of them had forced their way inside.
Yet the Botnets kept on chipping away.
I’m sure a hammer was involved.
And so was a chisel.
I had bad dreams about dynamite blowing it all up in the dead of night, but the site had only slowed down to a crawl, battling those Botnets.
The cure, fortunately, was relatively simple.
Caleb and Linda Pirtle was given its own dedicated server – one that’s extremely powerful, faster than a speeding bullet, and can leap tall buildings with a single bounce.
We’re on it alone.
We have fled the Botnets, and they don’t know where we are or where we have gone.
But the nightmares remain.
I lay awake and fear the sequels:
Revenge of the Botnets.
Son of Botnet.
And The Botnet Returns.
They’re out there.
And they’re searching.
Other people may be paranoid.
But the Botnets are really after us.