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Midgard Worms: Sudden Nasty Surprises from a Large Resilient Zombie Army

By Peter Reiher and Geoff Kuenning


Future network intruders will probably use a zombie army to deliver many different attacks, rather than recruiting a new army per attack. We describe a Midgard Worm, which can build an extremely resilient and scalable overlay network to deliver attack code quickly. The worm's master could disseminate a 1-megabyte exploit or upgrade to a million zombies from any zombie in less than six minutes. Even if 80 % of the zombies were disinfected, 70 % of the remainder would remain connected and ready to receive new exploits. We discuss the basic design principles behind such a worm and methods of combating this kind of attack. 1

Year: 2006
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