Ongoing PhD projects

CMI PhD projects

BED: Botnet Economic Disruption, via Darkweb Marketplace Infiltration

Botnets have been one of the most common threats of the digital world for many years, especially since the rise of IoT botnets like Mirai. One of the main reasons behind cybercrime’ s constant evolution, is the economic incentive. The same can be said for botnets. Botmasters use their botnets for financial gain, by renting them, or parts of them, selling them, or providing their services to clients for a fee. This makes the existence of botnet marketplaces a vital part of their economic infrastructure, being in essence a business. These marketplaces exist both in the Clearweb and Darkweb, with the latter ones being more popular and, in most cases, larger, with a richer variety of products/services. The main reason behind this, is that the Darkweb marketplaces offer much more anonymity, both for the user and the seller. Sellers are able to list products/services with varying degrees of legality and potential buyers can just browse through them and acquire what they need, both feeling safer from law enforcement detection.
What this project aims to achieve is to identify the botnet marketplaces, with emphasis on the Darkweb, infiltrate them, and gather information on the business economy models that are being used by the botmasters to operate a profitable enterprise. After identifying these models, the next step is to discover their vulnerabilities and weak points, and lastly propose a novel method of exploiting these weaknesses to accomplish botnet operation disruption.

Main Supervisor: Jens Myrup Pedersen  
Co-Supervisors: Emmanouil Vasilomanolakis, Morten Falch