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Among all media of communications, Internet is most vulnerable to attacks owing to its public nature and virtually without centralized control. With the growing financial dealings and dependence of businesses on Internet, these attacks have even more increased. Whereas previously hackers would satisfy themselves by breaking into someone’s system, in today's world hackers' work under an organized crime plan to obtain illicit financial gains. Various attacks than include spamming, phishing, click fraud, distributed denial of services, hosting illegal material, key logging, etc. are being carried out by hackers using botnets. In this paper a detailed study of botnets vis-a-vis their creation, propagation, command and control techniques, communication protocols and relay mechanism is presented. The aim of this paper is to gain an insight of security threats that users of Internet are facing from hackers by the use of malicious botnets.