Towards Complete Node Enumeration in a Peer-to-Peer Botnet

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Executive Summary

Modern advanced botnets may employ a decentralized peer-to-peer overlay network to bootstrap and maintain their command and control channels, making them more resilient to traditional mitigation efforts such as server incapacitation. As an alternative strategy, the malware defense community has been trying to identify the bot-infected hosts and enumerate the IP addresses of the participating nodes so that the list can be used by system administrators to identify local infections, block spam emails sent from bots, and configure firewalls to protect local users. Enumerating the infected hosts, however, has presented challenges. One cannot identify infected hosts behind firewalls or NAT devices by employing crawlers, a commonly used enumeration technique where recursive get-peerlist lookup requests are sent newly discovered IP addresses of infected hosts.

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