How will you safeguard your data, especially on your smartphone, amid rising numbers of cyber-attacks and scams? To address this issue, the central government has started introducing free bot removal tools. Bots are automated computer software programs which can be used both for good purposes (website chatbot, etc) and bad purposes (cyber scam, etc). Individuals might be the victim of financial fraud or identity theft if cyber criminals programmed the bots to operate in such a way.
Cyber Swachhta Kendra (CSK) is a free botnet cleaning and malware analysis system that is operated by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In). CERT-In works under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). CERT-In under the CSK program collaborated with various cyber security companies to develop a free bot removal tool. This bot removal tool is given to every Indian citizen at no cost and can help detect and clean bot infection in Windows laptops/desktops and Android devices.
How will this tool help you? Answering this, CERT-In says on their website: “Its goal is to create a secure cyberspace by detecting botnet infections in India and to notify, enable cleaning and securing systems of end users to prevent further infections.”
What is a bot infection?
According to Dr. Sanjay Katkar, Joint Managing Director, Quick Heal Technologies Limited, a cyber security company, “A bot is a software program that can perform tasks on the internet without human intervention. Bots can be used for good and bad purposes depending upon who and how it is being used. Cybercriminals use bots for harmful and malicious intentions, such as sending spam emails, stealing personal information, or launching cyberattacks. Cybercriminals do this for their benefit at the expense of the victim.”
According to an analysis report published on September 2023, from United Kingdom-based cyber security company Netacea, “72% of suffered bot attacks originated from China and 66% from Russia – the latter increasing 82% over two years.”
Should you clean your computer/mobile devices of bots frequently?
“If you want to operate your computer or mobile devices in a secure digital environment then it is necessary to keep it clean of viruses and malicious bots,” says Karmesh Gupta, CEO and Co-founder of WiJungle, a cyber security company.
How to clean Windows/Android devices from bots?
For Android devices, C-DAC Hyderabad and eScan developed the bot removal tool. Each of the above companies has launched their respective software/apps in collaboration with CERT-In. Here is the link: https://www.csk.gov.in/security-tools.html.
The name of C-DAC Hyderabad developed Android devices bot removal tool is ‘M-Kavach 2’. The name of e-Scan developed bot removal tool for Android devices is ‘eScan CERT-In Bot Removal’.
“Quick Heal has developed the bot removal tool in collaboration with Cyber Swachhta Kendra (CSK). We draw from the latest information and updates on botnet activities and malware signatures provided by the CSK, along with the insights provided by our team of security experts and researchers, which are then incorporated into the bot removal tool,” says Dr Sanjay.
This free tool will identify and remove malicious botnets to keep your device safe.
Is the bot removal tool an all-inclusive solution?
This tool will try to remove all the latest bots; however, viruses and other malware will not be removed. “The bot removal tool is designed specifically to deal with bots, which are a type of malware. However, it cannot detect and remove other types of malwares, and viruses such as worms, trojans, ransomware, etc. Therefore, it is recommended that users also install comprehensive antivirus software, which can protect their computers from all kinds of malware and virus threats,” says Dr Sanjay.
“The effectiveness of bot removal depends on the nature and intent of the bot. For benign or nuisance bots, this free bot removal tool may suffice. However, more advanced and malicious bots may require a comprehensive cybersecurity approach. Combining a free bot removal tool with a reputable antivirus software is a prudent choice, as it offers holistic defense against a broader range of threats,” says Gupta.