Accession Number:

ADA595007

Title:

How Can Botnets Cause Storms? Understanding the Evolution and Impact of Mobile Botnets

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIV AT RALEIGH DEPT OF ELECTRICAL AND COMPUTER ENGINEERING

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2014-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

11.0

Abstract:

A botnet in mobile networks is a collection of compromised nodes due to mobile malware, which are able to perform coordinated attacks. Different from Internet botnets mobile botnets do not need to propagate using centralized infrastructures, but can keep compromising vulnerable nodes in close proximity and evolving organically via data forwarding. Such a distributed mechanism relies heavily on node mobility as well as wireless links, therefore breaks down the underlying premise in existing epidemic modeling for Internet botnets. In this paper, we adopt a stochastic approach to study the evolution and impact of mobile botnets. We find that node mobility can be a trigger to botnet propagation storms the average size 201i.e., number of compromised nodes202 of a botnet increases quadratically over time if the mobility range that each node can reach exceeds a threshold otherwise, the botnet can only contaminate a limited number of nodes with average size always bounded above. This also reveals that mobile botnets can propagate at the fastest rate of quadratic growth in size, which is substantially slower than the exponential growth of Internet botnets. To measure the denial-of-service impact of a mobile botnet, we define a new metric, called last chipper time, which is the last time that service requests, even partially, can still be processed on time as the botnet keeps propagating and launching attacks. The last chipper time is identified to decrease at most on the order of 1pB, where B is the network bandwidth. This result reveals that although increasing network bandwidth can help with mobile services at the same time, it can indeed escalate the risk for services being disrupted by mobile botnets.

Subject Categories:

  • Computer Systems Management and Standards

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE