A security researcher has decompiled the Herpesnet botnet and exploited the network to out its developer.
The Herpesnet developer using the alias Frk7 spread the bot over Twitter and security forums to sell subscriptions to the service.
HerpesNet, via YouTube
Reverse engineer and penetration tester Paul Rascagneres (RootBSD) examined the bot and found and exploited a time-based SQL injection in the command and control client.
That served database tables and later allowed Rascagneres to upload Metaspolit's Meterpreter payload to open a shell on the developer's machine.
Rascagneres discovered what he said was a string of personal information including the owners real identity and Facebook account.
The owner was reported by Rascagneres to be an 18 year old Italian man. The details matched with the bio of the Herpesnet Twitter account.
The botnet's website was taken offline and a war of words ensued between Rascagneres and the developer
Frk7 claimed to have done "nothing illegal" and had sold the bot to pay for tuition.
The Secure Domain Foundation, a self-described "public benefit, non-profit, malicious domain slaughter house" chimed in via Twitter and quipped: "Lesson of the day. If you are selling botnet related services, don't directly tie it to your real name ".
A Google web cache page on 19 May indicated the network controlled 9827 bots and had 1947 users.
A technical write up can be read on Malware.lu, a small outfit of security boffins dedicated to malware analysis.