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A botnet is a network of compromised computers, often referred to as "bots" or "zombies," that are under the control of a malicious actor, typically referred to as the "bot herder" or "bot master." These compromised computers can be individual PCs, servers, or Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Botnets are typically used for various malicious activities, including distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

A DDoS attack, which stands for Distributed Denial of Service attack, is a type of cyberattack where multiple compromised computers or devices are used to flood a target system with an overwhelming amount of traffic. The goal of a DDoS attack is to make a website, service, or network resource unavailable to its intended users by overloading it with traffic, causing it to become slow or completely unresponsive.

Here's how these two concepts are related:

1. Botnet Formation: The bot master uses malware, such as a virus or a Trojan, to infect a large number of computers and bring them under their control. Once a sufficient number of computers are compromised, they form a botnet.

2. DDoS Attack Execution: The bot master, using a command and control (C&C) server, instructs the bots in the botnet to launch a DDoS attack on a specific target. The bots then simultaneously send a massive volume of traffic to the target, overwhelming its resources and causing service disruption.

3. Targeted Impact: The target, which could be a website, an online service, or a network, is bombarded with traffic from the compromised devices in the botnet. As a result, the target may become slow or completely unavailable, thus denying service to legitimate users.

DDoS attacks can be financially motivated, used for revenge or competitive reasons, or employed as a distraction while another attack takes place. Botnets are a common means for conducting DDoS attacks, as they provide the necessary scale and anonymity for the attackers.

Defending against DDoS attacks involves various strategies, including traffic filtering, rate limiting, and using content delivery networks (CDNs) to absorb and mitigate the attack traffic. It's also essential to have intrusion detection and prevention systems in place to detect and mitigate botnet activity. Legal measures are taken against bot masters when identified, as creating and controlling botnets is illegal in most jurisdictions.

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