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Attack of the 50 Foot Botnet Ryan Vogt and John Aycock
 

Summary: Attack of the 50 Foot Botnet
Ryan Vogt and John Aycock
Department of Computer Science, University of Calgary
2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4
{vogt,aycock}@cpsc.ucalgary.ca
TR 2006-840-33, August 2006
Abstract
The trend toward smaller botnets may be more dangerous in terms of large-scale attacks like dis-
tributed denials of service. We examine the possibility of "super-botnets," networks of independent bot-
nets that can be coordinated for attacks of unprecedented scale. For an adversary, super-botnets would
also be extremely versatile and resistant to countermeasures. Our simulation results shed light on the
feasibility and structure of super-botnets and some properties of their command-and-control mechanism.
Possible defenses against the threat of super-botnets are suggested.
1 Introduction
Big botnets are big news. Botnets involving over 100,000 zombie computers have been claimed [5, 6, 16],
and there was even one case involving 1.5 million compromised computers [13]. However, big botnets are
bad from the standpoint of survivability: someone is likely to notice a big botnet and take steps to dismantle
it.
The recent trend is toward smaller botnets with only several hundred to several thousand zombies [4].
This may reflect better defenses the malware creating new zombies may not be as effective but it may

  

Source: Aycock, John - Department of Computer Science, University of Calgary

 

Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences