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1.
Botnets (network of bots / zombie computers) are computers infected by worms or Trojans and taken over surreptitiously by hackers and brought into networks to send spam, more viruses, or launch denial of service attacks.
a group of zombie computers is known as a botnet

the botnet is just too big to stop this ddos attack

i got 400 viagra emails from a botnet today
by babyb September 24, 2004
 
2.
Botnet is a jargon term for a collection of software robots, or bots, which run autonomously. This can also refer to the network of computers using distributed computing software.

While the term "botnet" can be used to refer to any group of bots, such as IRC bots, the word is generally used to refer to a collection of compromised machines running programs (usually referred to as worms, Trojan horses, or backdoors) under a common command and control infrastructure. A botnet's originator can control the group remotely, usually through a means such as IRC, and usually for nefarious purposes. Individual programs manifest as IRC "bots". Often the command and control takes place via an IRC server or a specific channel on a public IRC network. A bot typically runs hidden, and complies with the RFC 1459 (IRC) standard. Generally, the perpetrator of the botnet has compromised a series of systems using various tools (exploits, buffer overflows, as well as others; see also RPC). Newer bots can automatically scan their environment and propagate themselves using vulnerabilities and weak passwords. Generally, the more vulnerabilities a bot can scan and propagate through, the more valuable it becomes to a botnet owner community
i'll send my botnet on your server and mess u up
by Rene Estrada May 29, 2006
 
3.
A computer that has been infected and taken over by a hacker by using a virus/trojan/malware.
Holy shit, did you hear about tom in our computer class who downloaded a trojan and his PC turned into a botnet?
by filter2700000 April 20, 2008