Friday, July 5, 2013

Building an SSH Botnet C&C Using Python and Fabric


Disclaimer: I suppose it would be wise to put a disclaimer on this post. Compromising hosts to create a botnet without authorization is illegal, and not encouraged in any way. This post simply aims to show security professionals how attackers could use standard IT automation tools for a purpose in which they were not originally intended. Therefore, the content is meant for educational purposes only.

System administrators often need to perform the same (or similar) tasks across a multitude of hosts. Doing this manually is unreasonable, so solutions have been created to help automate the process. While these solutions can be a life-saver to many, let's look at them in a different light. In this post, we'll explore how easy it would be for an attacker to use one of these solutions, a popular Python library called Fabric, to quickly create a command and control (C&C) application that can manage a multitude of infected hosts over SSH.