BotSniffer: Detecting Botnet Command and Control Channels in Network TrafficProceedings of the 15th Annual Network and Distributed System Security Symposium
Document TypeConference Proceeding
AbstractBotnets are now recognized as one of the most serious security threats. In contrast to previous malware, botnets have the characteristic of a command and control (C&C) channel. Botnets also often use existing common protocols, e.g., IRC, HTTP, and in protocol-conforming manners. This makes the detection of botnet C&C a challenging problem. In this paper, we propose an approach that uses network-based anomaly detection to identify botnet C&C channels in a local area network without any prior knowledge of signatures or C&C server addresses. This detection approach can identify both the C&C servers and infected hosts in the network. Our approach is based on the observation that, because of the pre-programmed activities related to C&C, bots within the same botnet will likely demonstrate spatial-temporal correlation and similarity. For example, they engage in coordinated communication, propagation, and attack and fraudulent activities. Our prototype system, BotSniffer, can capture this spatial-temporal correlation in network traffic and utilize statistical algorithms to detect botnets with theoretical bounds on the false positive and false negative rates. We evaluated BotSniffer using many real-world network traces. The results show that BotSniffer can detect real-world botnets with high accuracy and has a very low false positive rate.
Citation InformationGuofei Gu, Junjie Zhang and Wenke Lee. "BotSniffer: Detecting Botnet Command and Control Channels in Network Traffic" Proceedings of the 15th Annual Network and Distributed System Security Symposium (2008)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/junjie_zhang/5/