How To Get Rid Of A Botnet?

How To Get Rid Of A Botnet?

Introduction to Botnet:

Botnet is a group of Internet-connected devices which are controlled by one actor. In most cases, the actor uses them for malicious purposes such as sending spam , stealing data from each device and conducting DDoS attacks  . The main objective of the actor is to generate revenues with these Botnets . 

A Botnet can be composed of anything from a few dozen devices to hundreds of thousands or even millions .

In this article we will talk about a botnet that was detected with a combination of several honeypots in our lab. Our goal here is to raise awareness on this threat and how it operates.

As stated above, what we want to achieve in this article is two things: (1) raise awareness on this infection vector; (2) show how the botnet used by cybercriminals is changing over time. 

Impact of Botnet:

Botnets represent a severe risk and may cause serious damage to the infected users or ISPs.

The devices of the users that get infected by bots can be remotely controlled by cybercriminals, who may use them for any purpose without the user’s knowledge. Malicious acts range from stealing data (e.g., usernames and passwords) to using resources such as bandwidth or disk space , which could affect other devices on the same network .

In addition, it is also possible that they can participate in DDoS attacks led by criminals. We believe more analysis on the DDoS capabilities of these botnets must be conducted in order to understand this threat better and raise awareness about it. Detecting and mitigating these threats should be of top priority for ISPs and users.


Botnets use different ways to spread, but for this blog we will focus on the one that is using the public IP addresses of home routers. This vulnerability has been known for years and was first reported by research groups in 2010 .

The attackers take advantage of the fact that many routers are still running old versions of their firmware which do not have basic security settings enabled, such as an encrypted management interface , or other measures to prevent remote access. The botnet brings the router down, upgrades its firmware and configures it to download malicious software to each device.

How to Get rid of Botnet:

The best way to get rid of a botnet is by rebooting the router and upgrading its firmware. This will remove malicious code installed by the attackers.

In order to do so, users must know the following: 

(1) identify their router model; 

(2) download a copy of its firmware from the vendor’s web site and update it manually .

Each manufacturer has a different process for upgrading a device’s firmware, but they all provide manuals that can be found online .

Steps to Remove Botnet:

In order to remove a Botnet from your home router, you must follow the following steps once you have identified the make and model of your router.

1 – Reboot your device:

Power off your home router and switch it back on after 30 seconds . Wait for all LED lights in front of the unit to turn on, indicating it has restarted.

2 – Upgrade firmware manually:

It is recommended that users upgrade their router’s firmware manually through its web interface or by using a local computer that is directly connected to the network. This way, malware running within the device will not interfere with the process. Depending on how old it is, most routers can use firmware from vendors such as Linksys , D-Link, or Belkin .

3 – Change management interface credentials:

Once you have updated the firmware of your home router, change its administrator username and passwords. This is important because it will prevent remote access to the device through the web management interface, which is how this botnet operates. Also, if your router’s firewall settings are not properly configured , it may allow incoming traffic that could compromise the new password. 

4 – Scan your local network for other devices:

Once you have completed these steps, scan your local network for vulnerable devices . You can do so by using a free scanner designed for consumers . If any more devices are detected with open Telnet ports accepting connections from outside networks they should be assessed in order to determine if they are compromised. If you have any doubts, do not attempt to fix them yourself .

5 – Report the issue to your ISP:

Contact your internet service provider about this issue and report that someone is using your router as part of a botnet network. ISPs are interested in these reports because they can help track abuse of their networks .


In order to protect yourself from this type of attack, always keep your home router’s firmware up-to-date and change its administrator username and passwords to something difficult . You can also scan your local network for vulnerable devices with a free online scanner. If you have doubts about the security of any device, do not attempt to fix it yourself – contact a qualified technician instead .

If you suspect that someone is using your home network as part of a botnet , notify your ISP immediately so they can investigate the issue.  

It is important for users to keep their computers updated with the latest security patches , install an antivirus program , and make sure routers are configured correctly with encrypted remote access passwords set up.

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