Trailrunner7 writes: Over the course of a few days in February 2000, a lone hacker was able to bring some of the Web's larger sites to their knees, using just a few dozen machines and some relatively primitive software to cripple Yahoo, eBay, E*trade, Amazon, ZDnet and others for hours at a time. No one knew it at the time, but these attacks would come to be seen in later years as some of the earlier outbreaks of what has become a massive online pandemic. Now, nearly 10 years after those attacks, botnets are not just weapons of mass disruption for hacktivists and bored script kiddies, but serve as the foundation for the worldwide cybercrime underground and are at the heart of the massive rise in malware in recent years as well as the wave of SQL injections attacks against legitimate Web sites. "It's a huge, huge problem and it's one that has a lot of different components," said Joe Stewart, senior security researcher at SecureWorks, and an authority on botnets and online crime. "There's plenty more going on than just SQL injection and DDoS attacks that people just don't know about."