McAfee, Inc. announced that its family of IntruShield Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) appliances is the first network-based security solution to provide comprehensive, layered and proactive blocking of malicious botnets.

A bot is a software robot also known as a zombie or drone. A botnet is a network of infected zombie computers that allows an unauthorized user to remotely take control. The infected computers can then be used to launch distributed denial-of-service attacks, send spam and spyware, or commit cyber extortion.

McAfee(R) is the first in the industry to comprehensively address the threat of botnets by identifying them as a distinctive category of attack and proactively blocking their communication and installation. With this added layer of protection, McAfee IntruShield(R) maximizes security by not only protecting against the exploit that installs the bots, but also by blocking the bot’s communication or activation through the Internet. This new, layered solution will provide customers with unrivaled protection against the growing threat of botnets.

Bots continue to plague enterprises, small to medium businesses (SMBs), and home users due to their ability to inconspicuously take hold of a user’s computer on the back of other malware and remain hidden while they launch their malicious attacks. Typical botnet armies can range in size between 10,000 and 100,000 infected machines. Some of the most destructive bots include the SDBot, GaoBot and SpyBot variants, however more and more malicious bots are created every day.

“McAfee believes in proactively protecting against the underlying bot vulnerability itself, as opposed to only a particular exploit, since it provides a far higher degree of security,” said John Vecchi, group product marketing manager at McAfee, Inc. “With this innovative prevention capability, McAfee IntruShield can block botnet communication even if the malware that installed it has been removed, or if the bot enters the network through a non-protected channel. No one else in the industry can provide this type of proactive, multi-level protection.”

McAfee IntruShield’s award-winning network intrusion prevention technology is complimentary to McAfee’s comprehensive portfolio of best-of-breed network and system security solutions. McAfee IntruShield also integrates with other leading McAfee products, including Entercept(R) Host IPS and Foundstone(R) vulnerability management, to provide the industry’s most in-depth, layered defense against botnets and other threats.