Google Groups Used To Control Botnets
It's seems good that symantec guys discovered C&C ( command & control ) on the private google pages, from the symantec blog the following quotes are available :
Maintaining a reliable command and control (C&C) structure is a priority for back door Trojan writers. Recent developments have included the utilization of Web 2.0 social networking websites to deliver commands. By integrating C&C messages into valid communications, it becomes increasingly difficult to identify and shut down such sources. It's a concept very similar to that of chaffing and winnowing. Symantec has observed an interesting variation on this concept in the wild. A back door Trojan that we are calling Trojan.Grups has been using the Google Groups newsgroups to distribute commands. Trojan distribution via newsgroups is relatively common, but this is the first instance of newsgroup C&C usage that Symantec has detected.
It’s worth noting that Google Groups is not at fault here; rather, it is a neutral party. The authors of this threat have chosen Google Groups simply for its bevy of features and versatility.
The Trojan itself is quite simple. It is distributed as a DLL, and when executed will log onto a specific account:
The Web-based newsgroup can store both static “pages” and postings. When successfully logged in, the Trojan requests a page from a private newsgroup, escape2sun. The page contains commands for the Trojan to carry out. The command consists of an index number, a command line to execute, and optionally, a file to download. Responses are uploaded as posts to the newsgroup using the index number as a subject. The post and page contents are encrypted using the RC4 stream cipher and then base64 encoded. The attacker can thus issue confidential commands and read responses. If no command is received from the static page, the infected host uploads the current time.