A Day in the Life of the Rustock Botnet

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A Day in the Life of the Rustock Botnet

by Brian Prince

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Evolution of Rustock

This is a picture of the early evolution of the Rustock backdoor Trojan. Totmau is a Trojan Symantec found a few months before Rustock was discovered. Researchers there suspect the malware authors may be the same or connected, but that has not been established.

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Rustock Code

This is the actual code Rustock uses to target victims.

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Cracking Rustocks Code

Here is a flowchart of a Rustock sample using a method to make things difficult for analysts. The malware author twists the code on purpose in an attempt to obfuscate the real intention.

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How It Happens

In this diagram, researchers outlined how the botnet works to infect users and spread spam.

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A Side of Spam

Rustock is a sophisticated and prolific spamming machine. The individual spambots are among the fastest at sending spam that we have observed—we clocked one individual bot at 25,000 messages per hour from a standard desktop PC.

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Communication Is Key

This image shows the flow of information a bot goes through when it queries the C&C server.

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