BOTNETS

BOTNETS: Future Outlook

Botmasters are generally known for their laziness. As long as the current methods keep working, there would be little motivation for develop innovative malware. This is the very reason most botnets stuck to IRC channels long after they have become obsolete in favor of the more

This does
not necessarily mean that the threat level will stay the same until some new
botnet technology will arrive. On the contrary, new threats built on the same
technology get released on a daily basis. At the moment, there are many tools
available to the average user to visually create customized bots using a simple
drag-and-drop interface. Basically, anyone can create its own bots, and then
find an efficient method of infecting as many systems as possible.

It is
extremely likely that innovation will come as a result of the direct
competition between botmasters, rather than because of the need for extra
protection from the user or authorities. The future evolution of botnets will
include further updates to the already existing bots, in order to increase
their ability to spread, rally and control. This way, the botmaster will be
able to hide better from both the users and the authorities, and at the same
time, to control larger numbers of zombie computers.

Also,
bot programmers struggle to make their creations more adaptable. For instance,
a major online banking service that had been hit by multiple DDoS attacks saw
that the aggressors could modify the attack in real time in order to stay one
step ahead the protection mechanisms that had been activated.

Talking
about new technologies, the next generation of bots will likely ditch the IRC
and P2P approaches in favor of the more accessible HTTP and SSL protocols,
which are present on almost every server on earth.

About the author

Bogdan BOTEZATU

Bogdan Botezatu is living his second childhood at Bitdefender as senior e-threat analyst. When he is not documenting sophisticated strains of malware or writing removal tools, he teaches extreme sports such as surfing the web without protection or rodeo with wild Trojan horses. He believes that most things in life can be beat with strong heuristics and that antimalware research is like working for a secret agency: you need to stay focused at all times, but you get all the glory when you catch the bad guys.