The Bottom Line on Bots
Sometimes my computer seems to have a mind of its own. It inexplicably changes from a dutiful servant to a willful spirit capable of cruelly holding a document hostage. Occasionally, I get strange messages about undeliverable emails that I would swear I didn't tell it to send. More than once, it has even behaved as if it were busy, although I haven't asked it to do anything.
To rid my computer of any offending malware, I ran a scan using security software. But I wanted to get to know more about what may have possessed the machine, so I spoke to Stu Elefant, senior product manager at McAfee (MFE), one of the leading security-software firms. He says the behavior could be a sign the machine was affected by a "bot," a malicious program that lets an outsider take control of another person's computer and use it for illicit purposes, such as sending spam and other viruses or committing click fraud. The Bottom Line on Bots
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