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Re: Oh Yeah, botnet communications
From: Kurt Buff <kurt.buff () gmail com>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2009 09:43:30 -0800

On Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 21:21,  <Valdis.Kletnieks () vt edu> wrote:
On Thu, 19 Feb 2009 23:38:37 EST, T Biehn said:

God Valdis,
Dont concentrate on the mundane, the core issue is the unpredictable nature
of it.
You have them all coordinate reading the news at 12:00 AM GMT.
You build some silly algorithm that ensures they pick the right article.

Right, so now you need this insanely complicated system to make sure that you
get the right article at midnight, even if you have a race condition or you're
getting an old copy because of a caching proxy in the path or if they hit
different boxes on a load balancer and the articles update a few seconds apart,
and then make sure they all pick the "right" article - which means they need to
*agree* on the right article without knowing for sure what article the *other*
bots are looking at.  And that also means that the botnet owner (or at least
a system they have) has to *also* be online so it can also check CNN and figure
out what domain to register - which sucks if Godaddy just put up the "Down for
3 hours due to unexpected system problem" sign or any of a zillion other failure
modes in trying to register that next domain in real time.  You can't register
the next 3-4 day's worth of domains ahead of time and make sure they went
live.

Lots of failure modes there.

Or you can just hash the damned clock once an hour, which seems to be quite
sufficient to keep the average botnet running.

*THAT* is why they don't base it off a news RSS feed - all these mundane issues
make it *harder*.  You wanna do it the hard way that has more ways to fail and
sprout bugs, be my guest.  Most of the coders out there prefer something
just a bit simpler.

Not necessarily as insanely complicated as you might think - an RSS
feed can include some interesting numbers, such as stock quotes, etc.,
where the non-integer portion of the number(s) are pretty random, and
reporting on them is pretty standardized.

And, I don't think, for the purposes of discussion, it *has* to be an
RSS feed. It could be any publicly available, regularly updated text,
including www.wsj.com.

Kurt

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