Risk
11/26/2008
04:29 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

U.S. Army Goes Bot Hunting

As an automated network-flow analysis tool, BotHunter uses IDS routines to scan inbound and outbound network packet headers and payloads.

Most people whose computers have been turned into bots and linked to a botnet have no idea that their machines have been commandeered by cybercriminals. Their PCs send spam, steal information, and participate in denial-of-service attacks without any obvious sign.

But new software, funded by a grant from the U.S. Army Research Office and developed by SRI International, promises to provide users with more insight into what their computers are doing.

BotHunter, announced on Monday, is a free malware-detection application for Mac OS X, Linux/Unix, and Windows that monitors network activity. Unlike intrusion detection system (IDS) tools that scan only incoming data, BotHunter looks for patterns that indicate malware activity in both incoming and outgoing data.

"We do a lot of inbound egress monitoring," said Phillip Porras, SRI program director of enterprise and infrastructure security and lead developer of the BotHunter project. "BotHunter really flips that paradigm around."

As an automated network-flow analysis tool, BotHunter uses IDS routines to scan inbound and outbound network packet headers and payloads. It does so without revealing packet payload contents, which is necessary to protect privacy and make it usable in government environments. The machine profiles it sends to the BotHunter repository are anonymized to remove local network identification data.

The software has been downloaded some 35,000 times to date and several thousand instances are running in the U.S. military. So far, about 250 users have reported finding that their PCs have been turned into bots, said Porras.

Though the software is aimed at technically savvy users, specifically network administrators, the Windows version should install easily and should be usable by those without deep networking expertise. The Mac version requires the target machine to have Apple's developer tools installed to function.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-6628
Published: 2015-05-28
Aruba Networks ClearPass Policy Manager (CPPM) before 6.5.0 allows remote administrators to execute arbitrary code via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-1389
Published: 2015-05-28
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Aruba Networks ClearPass Policy Manager (CPPM) before 6.4.5 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the username parameter to tips/tipsLoginSubmit.action.

CVE-2015-1392
Published: 2015-05-28
Multiple SQL injection vulnerabilities in Aruba Networks ClearPass Policy Manager (CPPM) before 6.4.5 allow remote administrators to execute arbitrary SQL commands via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-1550
Published: 2015-05-28
Directory traversal vulnerability in Aruba Networks ClearPass Policy Manager (CPPM) before 6.4.5 allows remote administrators to execute arbitrary files via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-1551
Published: 2015-05-28
Directory traversal vulnerability in Aruba Networks ClearPass Policy Manager (CPPM) before 6.4.4 allows remote administrators to read arbitrary files via unspecified vectors.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
After a serious cybersecurity incident, everyone will be looking to you for answers -- but you’ll never have complete information and you’ll never have enough time. So in those heated moments, when a business is on the brink of collapse, how will you and the rest of the board room executives respond?