By Topic

Sybil attacks as a mitigation strategy against the Storm botnet

Sign In

Cookies must be enabled to login.After enabling cookies , please use refresh or reload or ctrl+f5 on the browser for the login options.

Formats Non-Member Member
$31 $13
Learn how you can qualify for the best price for this item!
Become an IEEE Member or Subscribe to
IEEE Xplore for exclusive pricing!
close button

puzzle piece

IEEE membership options for an individual and IEEE Xplore subscriptions for an organization offer the most affordable access to essential journal articles, conference papers, standards, eBooks, and eLearning courses.

Learn more about:

IEEE membership

IEEE Xplore subscriptions

4 Author(s)
Davis, C.R. ; Ecole Polytech. de Montreal, Montreal, QC ; Fernandez, J.M. ; Neville, S. ; McHugh, John

The Storm botnet is one of the most sophisticated botnet active today, used for a variety of illicit activities. A key requirement for these activities is the ability by the botnet operators to transmit commands to the bots, or at least to the various segmented portions of the botnet. Disrupting these command and control (C&C) channels therefore becomes an attractive avenue to reducing botnets effectiveness and efficiency. Since the command and control infrastructure of Storm is based on peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, previous work has explored the use of index poisoning, a disruption method developed for file-sharing P2P networks, where the network is inundated with false information about the location of files. In contrast, in this paper we explore the feasibility of Sybil attacks as a mitigation strategy against Storm. The aim here is to infiltrate the botnet with large number of fake nodes (sybils), that seek to disrupt the communication between the bots by inserting themselves in the peer lists of ldquoregularrdquo bots, and eventually re-reroute or disrupt ldquorealrdquo C&C traffic. An important difference with index poisoning attacks is that sybil nodes must remain active and participate in the underlying P2P protocols, in order to remain in the peer list of regular bot nodes. However, they do not have to respond to the botmasterpsilas commands and participate into illicit activities. First, we outline a methodology for mounting practical Sybil attacks on the Storm botnet. Then, we describe our simulation studies, which provide some insights regarding the number of sybils necessary to achieve the desired level of disruption, with respect to the net growth rate of the botnet. We also explore how certain parameters such as the duration of the Sybil attack, and botnet design choices such as the size of a botpsilas peer list, affect the effectiveness of the attack.

Published in:

Malicious and Unwanted Software, 2008. MALWARE 2008. 3rd International Conference on

Date of Conference:

7-8 Oct. 2008