How pro-WikiLeaks hackers wage cyberwar without hijacking your computer

Botnets, networks of thousands of computers working in tandem, have become one of the most pervasive threats on the Internet – a tool used by criminals for extortion, spamming and identity theft – but also by hacktivist groups that want attention.

Anonymous has taken a different approach with Operation Payback, the name it has given its bid to avenge efforts to shut down WikiLeaks. It is building its own home-grown voluntary botnet, attracting people to put the botnet software on their own computers. About 2,200 or more people have done so by one count — via

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