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The Bitcoin Blockchain Is Helping Keep a Botnet From Being Taken Down

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Artist's impresion of a botnet.

Recently, a botnet that researchers have been following for about two years began using a new way to prevent command-and-control server takedowns: by camouflaging one of its IP addresses in the bitcoin blockchain.

Credit: Aurich Lawson/Artz Technica

Researchers at the content delivery network Akamai have found that a botnet they have been following for about two years has disguised one of its Internet protocol (IP) addresses in the bitcoin blockchain to guard against a command-and-control server takedown.

The botnet has been used to mine the Monero cryptocurrency.

Having a backup server encoded in the bitcoin blockchain prevents infected systems from being orphaned, if the hardwired control server is sinkholed.

In addition, storing the IP address in the blockchain prevents it from being changed, deleted, or blocked.

Akamai's Omer Zoha said, "By leveraging the blockchain as intermediate, the infrastructure is virtually unstoppable, dealing with most of the shortcoming of regular malicious infrastructures."

From Ars Technica
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