The cyber attacks against Google, Adobe and a raft of other top U.S.
corporations late last year were by most accounts sophisticated and targeted
attempts to steal proprietary data. But lost in all of the resulting media
hoopla over who the remaining victims were and whether Chinese hackers or indeed
the Chinese government itself were responsible is the simple, terrifying truth
that individual hackers now have access to the same arsenal of cyber weapons
once reserved only for nation states.
The weapons at issue are, of course, botnets — agglomerations of remotely
controlled, hacked computers that are used for a variety of criminal purposes,
from spam, to high-powered, distributed online attacks against virtual targets.
In these attacks, the botnets acted as a sort of "cloud" data collection and