99 Reasons Your Perimeter Is Leaking - Evolution of C&C

From the venerable bind shell, to the reverse shell, the IRC bot channel, the icmp/dns/custom UDP tunnel, and the asynchronous HTTP C&C server, remote access has taken many forms since we first began remotely exploiting software. Even today, many traditional methods will still frequently bypass firewalls and detection, and additional methods continue to be devised. But as an attacker, what do I do when my favorite method is blocked? What are my options other than reusing a stale python script from github or creating my own ad-hoc, informally-specified, bug-ridden, slow implementation of a high-level messaging protocol? And as a defender, how can I measure my ability to detect the diverse C&C traffic that may be seen today, and also prepare for new and unexpected channels? In this talk, we will discuss the evolution of command and control methods, their strengths and weaknesses from an attacker's perspective, and the capabilities of a defender to detect and respond to them. We will identify what aspects a forward-thinking C&C framework might require, and then demonstrate a proof-of-concept with 99(ish) different interchangeable methods for communication. Finally, we will discuss some of the shortcomings of egress filtering in enterprise environments that should be addressed in order to mature our detection and response in kind.

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