C&C Server

A C&C server is a kind of server or a collection of servers that hackers use to manage and modify systems that they have previously compromised. The C&C server is often hosted in a malware network, commonly known as a botnet. 

With the use of the C&C server, the hacker can efficiently communicate with every one of the compromised systems within the network. The hacker can send prompts, receive sensitive data, and carry out more malicious attacks from one location.

Cases of C&C server use

  • Botnet Control: These servers monitor and control networks of compromised devices (botnets) infected with malware. The C&C server is the command center, from which the attacker can send commands and control the botnet, such as launching DDoS attacks, sending out spam emails, or distributing malware.
  • Malware Distribution: The C&C server can also serve as a point of distribution for malicious software from which the attacker can send out malware and even regularly update it. 
  • Data Theft and Exfiltration: Cybercriminals can use C&C servers to extract private data from compromised devices. The server collects this stolen data and stores it whenever the attacker sells or exploits it. 
  • Command Execution: The C&C servers allow attackers to easily remotely issue commands to the compromised systems. These commands can be anything from installing additional malware to altering settings on the compromised systems.
  • Updates and Configuration Changes: The hackers can use the C&C servers to distribute updates, such as setting updates to the compromised systems. Because of this advantage, the attacker can improve or alter their malware, evade detection by security tools, and adapt to any change in conditions.
  • Information Gathering: Naturally, C&C servers collect data from compromised systems, such as logs, system information, or network configurations. With this information, the attacker can assess the compromised network’s capabilities, determine any potential targets, or collect intelligence for future attacks.

Protection from C&C server attacks

  • Use reliable security solutions: The use of premium and trusted cybersecurity tools designed to keep malware out can be a great way to keep your system healthy and block C&C related attacks. 
  • Keep your systems up to date: Ensure that you always update your device’s software, applications, and operating systems so they can protect your system from new threats.
  • Use a firewall: A firewall on your network and all your devices can go a long way to prevent C&C server attacks. The firewall can monitor incoming and outgoing traffic. Just be sure to configure the firewall to block any suspicious connections, with special attention to any of such suspicious connections associated with known C&C server IP addresses.
  • Monitor network traffic: Install tools for monitoring your network traffic. These will help weed out any suspicious activity such as large amounts of data transferred from unfamiliar sources.  
  • Cultivate safe browsing habits: Do not click on any unfamiliar links or attachments, especially in suspicious emails. 
  • Use secure and unique passwords: Strive for unique and lengthy passwords as these are much harder to decipher. You can also set up a 2FA as a second measure of security. 
  • Regularly backup your data: Regular backups are very important, ensure that you store them on a separate device or network, one unconnected to your primary network. 
  • Set up network segmentation: Put your network in separate segments, ensuring that you isolate the essential systems from your everyday network traffic.
  • Educate yourself and your employees: Keep up-to-date on all the happenings whether old or new in the world of cybersecurity and online privacy. With this knowledge, you and your employees can adequately stay safe from any threats. 
  • Regularly review logs and conduct incident response drills: For an agile security system, it is advisable to create an incident response strategy, running tests with parameters tuned for the likelihood of an attack to test the system’s responsiveness.