Botnets and Cyber Security: Battling Online Threats

Botnets and Cyber Security: Battling Online Threats

Ahmed Mansour Manasrah (National Advanced IPv6 Center, Malaysia), Omar Amer Abouabdalla (National Advanced IPv6 Center, Malaysia), Moein Mayeh (National Advanced IPv6 Center, Malaysia) and Nur Nadiyah Suppiah (National Advanced IPv6 Center, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-851-4.ch005
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Abstract

The Internet, originally designed in a spirit of trust, uses protocols and frameworks that are not inherently secure. This basic weakness is greatly compounded by the interconnected nature of the Internet, which, together with the revolution in the software industry, has provided a medium for large-scale exploitation, for example, in the form of botnets. Despite considerable recent efforts, Internet-based attacks, particularly via botnets, are still ubiquitous and have caused great damage on both national and international levels. This chapter provides a brief overview of the botnet phenomena and its pernicious aspects. Current governmental and corporate efforts to mitigate the threat are also described, together with the bottlenecks limiting their effectiveness in various countries. The chapter concludes with a description of lines of investigation that could counter the botnet phenomenon.
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Background

The term bot, short for robot, is derived from the Czech word robota, which means “work” (Saha & Gairola 2005). Usually, a network of tens to hundreds of thousands and, in some cases, several millions of bots constitute what is known as botnet. These bots are handled and commanded by a single, or sometimes a group, of commanders (attacker/botmaster) who have the ability to remotely instruct bots to perform certain tasks. Since the backbone of any botnet is the individual compromised host, botnets are seen in a variety of computer systems—on computers at homes, schools, business places, and governmental offices—all of which may contain valuable data that can provide financial benefits to the attacker (Cooke, Jahanian, Mcpherson, & Danny 2005; Dagon et al., 2005; Gu 2008).

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