Botnet

Topics: Malware, Computer virus, Computer worm Pages: 5 (1447 words) Published: September 2, 2013
HISTORY OF BOTNETS

The term bot is short for robot and refers to the clients in a botnet. It is derived from the Czech word ―robota‖, which literally means work or labour. Alternative names for bots are zombies or drones. In the following, the historical origin of the most relevant concepts responsible for the appearance of botnets are explained. Historically, the concept of bots did not include harmful behaviour by default. The term was originally used for control instances located in the chat rooms of Internet Relay Chat (IRC), which appeared from 1989 onwards. They were able to interpret simple commands, provide administration support or offer services like simple games to chat users. The first known IRC bot is Eggdrop, first published in 1993 and further developed since. Next, following the release of Eggdrop, malicious IRC bots appeared, adopting the basic idea, but created primarily in order to attack other IRC users or even entire servers. Shortly after, Denial of Service (DoS) and then Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) were implemented in these bots. The concept of computer worms goes back to 1971, when the first specimen, known as Creeper, was written. This program copied itself between machines of the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET). It displayed a message on the screen but always tried to remove its presence from the source computer. Later worms, in the early 1980s, were designed with good intentions, for example with the purpose of notifying other users on the network (Town Crier Worm) or managing computing capacity at night, when nobody was using the machines (Vampire Worm). In 1988, the Morris Worm appeared in Cornell University and had a massive impact, probably infecting a tenth of all computers on the Internet at that time with around 6.000 machines. Because the Morris Worm received a lot of media attention the idea of network-based, autonomously-spreading programs was carried into the wild. Computer worms were one of the primary propagation vectors of early botnets. A modern definition of bot is a concept of advanced malicious software that incorporates usually one or more aspects of the aforementioned techniques introduced by viruses, worms, Trojan horses and rootkits for propagation and hostile integration into a foreign system, providing the functionality of the compromised system to the attacker. A defining characteristic of bots is that they connect back to a central server or other infected machines after successfully compromising the host system, thus forming a network. This network is the so-called botnet. The bots provide a range of implemented features to a corresponding controlling entity. This entity is commonly a command-and-control server under the control of one or more persons, called the botmasters or botherders, who relay commands through this server. Depending on the network infrastructure, the bots may be connected with each other to enable this desired control structure. Alternatively, they can exist completely independently, not knowing of the existence of other bots. A typical function that bots provide to their masters includes the automated extraction of a victim‘s credentials, the organized distribution of spam, the ability to participate in denial of service attacks, or the extension of the botnet by recruiting new bots. A botnet can be abused by the botmaster and the botnet customers to * perform criminal acts on other computers and their users * to send SPAM

* spy data of the computer on which  the bot is installed * cripple servers and Web sites on the Internet by directing billions on nonsense  requests of all computer in the botnet to servers and Websites. A botmaster could, for example ...

* let the trojan encrypt your hard drive and give you access to your data only after payment of an amount of money * steal the access data to your bank, Amazon and other services, you use on the Internet * steal your addresses and...
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