Date of Award:

5-2009

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Computer Science

Advisor/Chair:

Chad Mano

Abstract

The advent of the Internet and its benevolent use has benefited mankind in private and business use alike. However, like any other technology, the Internet is often used for malevolent purposes. One such malevolent purpose is to attack computers using botnets. Botnets are stealthy, and the victims are typically unaware of the malicious activities and the resultant havoc they can cause. Computer security experts seek to combat the botnet menace. However, attackers come up with new botnet designs that exploit the weaknesses in existing defense mechanisms and, thus, continue to evade detection.

Therefore, it is necessary to analyze the weaknesses of existing defense mechanisms to find the lacunae in them and design new models of bot infection before the attackers do so. It is also necessary to validate the analysis and the design of such a model by implementing the attack and fine-tuning the design. This thesis validates the weaknesses found in existing defense mechanisms against botnets by implementing a new model of botnet and carrying out experiments on it.

To merely analyze and present the weaknesses of a defense would open the door for attackers and make their job easier. Thus, creating a defense mechanism against the new attack is equally important. This thesis proposes a design against the new model of bot infection and also implements the design. Experiments were conducted to validate and fine-tune the design and eliminate flaws in the new defense mechanism.

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