Posted by Martijn Grooten on Sep 12, 2016
Although some inventive (and often quite impractical) non-network-based ways to remotely control malware have been presented, most botnets use the normal Internet connection of the infected device to send information and receive commands. This inherent weakness in botnets' infrastructures makes command and control traffic a useful avenue for analysing botnet behaviour.
Haka is an open source security-oriented language that can help researchers with this task. At VB2016, Benoit Ancel and Mehdi Talbi, two researchers from Stormshield in France, will present a paper on Haka.
Apart from introducing the language, which looks surprisingly simple, they show how it can be used to analyse C&C traffic by way of two examples: China-Z, a DDoS botnet that uses its own protocol, and Athena, which communicates over HTTP. In the former case, they were able to show that the botnet's targets were mainly based in Asia.