This is a repost of an old blog post I made on another site.
Sometimes it's fun to turn the tables on the bad guys. A hobby of mine is hijacking botnets to see what all the fuss is about. The goal for today is to gain a shell on the malware host server.
Don't actually do any of this. Someone once sent me threatening pictures of my children after I poked around the wrong botnet
Anyway. C&C web panels are commonly included with malware, and act as a central dashboard providing statistics, command functionality, and access to stolen information such as passwords. As they are essentially the heart and brain of a malware campaign and can be used to control thousands of infected hosts they tend to be hidden on obscure domains, deep from the prying eyes of Google and other search indexers, making them difficult to discover. The panels themselves are usually secured with long and complicated passwords and sometimes require specific URL parameters to be present before access is granted.
They also tend to be poorly coded and subject to exploitation, which we will leverage to our advantage 😁.