Towards Next-Generation Botnets

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Executive Summary

This paper introduces the design of an advanced bot called Rambot that is based on the weak nesses found when tracking a diverse set of botnets over a period of several months. The main features of this bot are peer-to-peer communication, strong cryptography, a credit-point system to build bilateral trust amongst bots, and a proof-of-work scheme to protect against potential attacks. Botnets, i.e., networks of such bots under a common control infrastructure, are one of the main problems in today's Internet since botnets are often used to carry out Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks, send a large amount of spam or phishing mails, and other nefarious purposes.

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