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Proceedings Paper

Advancing botnet modeling techniques for military and security simulations
Author(s): Sheila B. Banks; Martin R. Stytz
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Paper Abstract

Simulation environments serve many purposes, but they are only as good as their content. One of the most challenging and pressing areas that call for improved content is the simulation of bot armies (botnets) and their effects upon networks and computer systems. Botnets are a new type of malware, a type that is more powerful and potentially dangerous than any other type of malware. A botnet's power derives from several capabilities including the following: 1) the botnet's capability to be controlled and directed throughout all phases of its activity, 2) a command and control structure that grows increasingly sophisticated, and 3) the ability of a bot's software to be updated at any time by the owner of the bot (a person commonly called a bot master or bot herder.) Not only is a bot army powerful and agile in its technical capabilities, a bot army can be extremely large, can be comprised of tens of thousands, if not millions, of compromised computers or it can be as small as a few thousand targeted systems. In all botnets, their members can surreptitiously communicate with each other and their command and control centers. In sum, these capabilities allow a bot army to execute attacks that are technically sophisticated, difficult to trace, tactically agile, massive, and coordinated. To improve our understanding of their operation and potential, we believe that it is necessary to develop computer security simulations that accurately portray bot army activities, with the goal of including bot army simulations within military simulation environments. In this paper, we investigate issues that arise when simulating bot armies and propose a combination of the biologically inspired MSEIR infection spread model coupled with the jump-diffusion infection spread model to portray botnet propagation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 May 2011
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 8060, Modeling and Simulation for Defense Systems and Applications VI, 80600I (20 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.882892
Show Author Affiliations
Sheila B. Banks, Calculated Insight (United States)
Martin R. Stytz, Drexel Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8060:
Modeling and Simulation for Defense Systems and Applications VI
Eric J. Kelmelis, Editor(s)

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