With a growing increase in botnet attacks, computer networks are constantly under threat from attacks that cripple cyber-infrastructure. Detecting these attacks in real-time proves to be a difficult and resource intensive task. One of the pertinent methods to detect such attacks is signature based detection using machine learning models. This paper explores the efficacy of these models at detecting botnet attacks, using data captured from large-scale network attacks. Our study provides a comprehensive overview of performance characteristics two machine learning models — Random Forest and Multi-Layer Perceptron (Deep Learning) in such attack scenarios. Using Big Data analytics, the study explores the advantages, limitations, model/feature parameters, and overall performance of using machine learning in botnet attacks / communication. With insights gained from the analysis, this work recommends algorithms/models for specific attacks of botnets instead of a generalized model.