Is Your PC a Zombie? (And What's a Zombie, Anyway?)
Tom Spring, PC World Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Today, more than 80 percent of all spam worldwide comes from zombie PCs, experts say. Zombie PCs are computers that have been infected by malicious code that allows spammers to use them to send junk e-mail. And these computers could be owned by anyone--businesses, universities, and average users

Quite often zombie PCs are associated with botnets. The word botnet typically refers to a group of zombie PCs. The term zombie PC refers to one of the PCs in a botnet, though in some cases a zombie PC may not be tied into a botnet.

You can reduce your PC's risk of becoming a zombie by installing a personal firewall and antivirus software, and keeping your copy of Windows up-to-date.

You should also be aware that a Trojan horse may have disabled firewall or antivirus software that usually launches automatically. To make sure that your security apps are still running, try to launch them yourself.

Symptoms of a zombie PC include a suddenly sluggish broadband connection, excessive hard drive activity, an unresponsive mouse or keyboard, or bounce notifications in your inbox from people you never tried to contact. But these symptoms do not guarantee that your PC is a zombie.

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