Friends of an enemy: Identifying local members of peer-to-peer botnets using mutual contacts

Baris Coskun, Sven Dietrich, Nasir Memon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

In this work we show that once a single peer-to-peer (P2P) bot is detected in a network, it may be possible to efficiently identify other members of the same botnet in the same network even before they exhibit any overtly malicious behavior. Detection is based on an analysis of connections made by the hosts in the network. It turns out that if bots select their peers randomly and independently (i.e. unstructured topology), any given pair of P2P bots in a network communicate with at least one mutual peer outside the network with a surprisingly high probability. This, along with the low probability of any other host communicating with this mutual peer, allows us to link local nodes within a P2P botnet together. We propose a simple method to identify potential members of an unstructured P2P botnet in a network starting from a known peer. We formulate the problem as a graph problem and mathematically analyze a solution using an iterative algorithm. The proposed scheme is simple and requires only flow records captured at network borders. We analyze the efficacy of the proposed scheme using real botnet data, including data obtained from both observing and crawling the Nugache botnet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 26th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference, ACSAC 2010
Pages131-140
Number of pages10
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
Event26th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference, ACSAC 2010 - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: Dec 6 2010Dec 10 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings - Annual Computer Security Applications Conference, ACSAC
ISSN (Print)1063-9527

Other

Other26th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference, ACSAC 2010
CountryUnited States
CityAustin, TX
Period12/6/1012/10/10

    Fingerprint

Keywords

  • IDS
  • P2P botnet
  • network security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Software
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

Cite this

Coskun, B., Dietrich, S., & Memon, N. (2010). Friends of an enemy: Identifying local members of peer-to-peer botnets using mutual contacts. In Proceedings - 26th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference, ACSAC 2010 (pp. 131-140). (Proceedings - Annual Computer Security Applications Conference, ACSAC). https://doi.org/10.1145/1920261.1920283