Botnets as an Instrument of Warfare

Abstract : The use of botnets for malicious activities has grown significantly in recent years. Criminals leverage the flexibility and anonymity associated with botnets to harvest personal data, generate spam, distribute malware and launch distributed denial-of-service attacks. These same attributes readily translate to applications that can support operations in warfare. In 2007, distributed denial-of-service attacks launched by botnets targeted IT assets belonging to Estonian banks, newspapers and parliament. This paper explores the use of botnets as instruments of warfare. Seven scenarios are used to demonstrate how traditional applications of botnets such as spam, theft of resources and distributed denial-of-service attacks can have implications across the spectrum of warfare. Additionally, the paper discusses the ethical and political concerns associated with the use of botnets by nation states.
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Jonathan Butts; Sujeet Shenoi. 5th International Conference Critical Infrastructure Protection (ICCIP), Mar 2011, Hanover, NH, United States. Springer, IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, AICT-367, pp.19-28, 2011, Critical Infrastructure Protection V. 〈10.1007/978-3-642-24864-1_2〉
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Eric Koziel, David Robinson. Botnets as an Instrument of Warfare. Jonathan Butts; Sujeet Shenoi. 5th International Conference Critical Infrastructure Protection (ICCIP), Mar 2011, Hanover, NH, United States. Springer, IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, AICT-367, pp.19-28, 2011, Critical Infrastructure Protection V. 〈10.1007/978-3-642-24864-1_2〉. 〈hal-01571771〉

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