Cyber Defense - Projects
Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics FKIE
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Combating Botnets – Making the Internet safer
Botnets are armies of computer systems infected by malware making it possible for them to be controlled remotely by criminals. They are a refinement of the dreaded Trojans, except that it is no longer just one single PC, but up to several million zombie computers that can be controlled simultaneously. Nowadays virtually all spam e-mails are transmitted via botnets and the sheer volume of data being moved around the Internet by them at any one time poses a major threat.
Millions of data packets containing private and financial or even classified information from individuals, companies and organizations can be stolen and misused in a very short space of time.
What has become known as “Distributed Denial of Service” (DDoS) in cyber war is as feared as espionage and sabotage. To emphasize the point entire government IT infrastructures were shut down in 2007 and 2008, when botnets were used to carry out DDoS attacks on them.
The Fraunhofer FKIE has been investigating and actively combating botnets for many years. The main thrust of their work is in two key areas. The first is based on cooperation and exchange with international experts, companies and scientists on all matters relating to strategies and defense mechanisms. It is only by collaborating in this way that it will be possible to infiltrate botnets, monitor them and, as has already been done by the Fraunhofer FKIE, shut them down.
The second area and a core area of our expertise is an in-depth analysis of malware. The majority of the malware found today is computer processed and only studied superficially. If we want to truly combat malware, there is a strong case for thoroughly investigating specific details and design issues within the programs. It is only in this way that we will be able to identify new trends as well as concealment and propagation techniques. Our experts at the FKIE are being continually updated on the latest developments of the attackers and use their knowledge and expertise to design the tools necessary to defend against and combat the threat of botnets.
In short, the Fraunhofer FKIE aims to make the Internet safer and avert threats to civilian lives, critical infrastructures and the safety of German soldiers.