Security Investigate

Your Botnet Is My Botnet: Analysis of a Botnet Takeover

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Executive Summary

Botnets, networks of malware-infected machines that are controlled by an adversary, are the root cause of a large number of security problems on the Internet. A particularly sophisticated and insidious type of bot is Torpig, a malware program that is designed to harvest sensitive information (such as bank account and credit card data) from its victims. This paper reports on efforts to take control of the Torpig botnet and study its operations for a period of ten days. During this time, one observed more than 180 thousand infections and recorded almost 70 GB of data that the bots collected. While botnets have been "Hijacked" and studied previously, the Torpig botnet exhibits certain properties that make the analysis of the data particularly interesting.

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