Botnets at the Gate: Stopping Botnets and Distributed Denial of Service Attacks
Over the past several years, botnets like BlackEnergy, Illusion, Pushdo, and Zeus have dominated news headlines. They have infiltrated millions of users’ computers and wrecked incalculable damage - unleashing powerful Denial of Service attacks, exposing national security secrets, and compromising individual victims’ credit card numbers and bank account credentials. Virtually all online users have been affected by botnets, either as hapless recipients of spam email or as frustrated users attempting to visit an unavailable Website. However, millions of users have suffered a much worse fate, recruited unknowingly into a botnet army. The numbers are staggering. The Bredolab botnet alone had infected over 30 million computers and sent an estimated 3.6 billion virus-laden emails every day in late 2009.As of early December 2010, over 5,400 botnet command and control servers were identified and active.
This paper attempts to lift the veil on botnets and the cyber-criminals behind them. It analyzes the history, growth, and economics behind botnets. It then investigates one of the most common attacks executed by botnets: the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.