A zombie computer is a computer that has been taken over by some mechanism (Trojan virus, backdoor exploit, etc.) so that a remote party has access to the machine and is able to call upon the machine to perform some task.
It’s the last part of that definition that distinguishes a zombie computer from one that has been simply compromised. The goal of the remote party in gaining access to computers is to create a vast network of machines they can turn into an army of zombie computers in order to send spam emails undetected or execute massive Denial of Service attacks on web sites and services. Zombie computers are the foundation of botnets.
- By Jason Fitzpatrick on 03/23/13