A weapon in search of a target

USAF Colonel goes on the offensive with botnet destroyer plan | The Register

In a recently published article, Col. Charles W. Williamson III argued an Air Force-controlled botnet could be a cost-effective means to protect military networks under near-constant attack. He envisions collecting machines that would otherwise be discarded, removing their power-hungry hard drives and then making them available to wage attacks against foreign-based computers targeting the military.

Does this guy have any idea of what a botnet actually is or what it’s good for? Are we going to go after all the evildoer-infected computers out there and make them start sending erection spam to each other? I guess it’s possible that there are vicious foreign hackers out there who aren’t in a position to use someone else’s computer to launch their attacks, or to disguise their IP addresses, or to filter nasty packets coming from .mil addresses…

But seriously, other than sending spam, botnets are good for DDoS attacks against large more-or-less fixed targets that need other machines to be able to reach them. Which does not describe people launching penetration attacks. And if you’re going after individual attacking computers — assuming that Dr Evil is no better at keeping machines patched than the rest of us — you hardly need a zombie army of old PCs to do it, because those attacks really don’t need much bandwidth.

I do, however, like the idea of the world’s largest honeypot…


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