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New IoT Malware Makes Mirai Look Like a Practice Run

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  • New IoT Malware Makes Mirai Look Like a Practice Run

    Post Date: 19.4.2017
    Author: Rhucha Kulkarni

    Mirai, the malware that created havoc in the world of Internet of Things (IoT), now has competition. Another IoT malware by the name of Hajime is more resilient and potent than Mirai. It was discovered more than six months ago and since then, the botnet seems to have infected more than 100,000 devices globally, according to Marshal Webb, CTO at BackConnect. This evolution of the malware indicates tough times for IoT security going ahead.

    The Hajime malware was first discovered when security researchers at Rapidity Networks were scanning and monitoring IoT networks for Mirai attacks. They came across a more tenacious programming code that operates by scanning the IoT network for poorly secured devices such as switches, routers, cameras, etc. Hajime communication happens over a peer-to-peer network which is built on the basis of BitTorrent protocols. This makes the attack more decentralized, and thereby difficult to track and contain.

    Unlike Hajime, Mirai takes commands from a centralized server. A Mirai attack can thus be relatively easily contained by blocking the main controlling server. This is not possible for a Hajime attack, making it more dangerous as a cause for large-scale IoT disruption. Thankfully, so far Hajime has been found infecting a smaller pool of IoT devices that use ARM chip architecture.

    Botnets operate by creating a network of enslaved computers, launching attacks on systems and connected devices that can spiral out of proportion. A common instance of an attack is a distributed-denial-of-service attack (DDoS), which alters the system to take down websites and even disrupt infrastructure. Fortunately, a DDoS attack has not been rendered by Hajime yet. Interestingly, nobody knows who owns or controls Hajime. No one has yet come up to claim ownership, and the purpose of having this malicious botnet in place remains questionable; yet the malware continues to trawl the Internet for vulnerable devices.

    Security experts have proposed that the best way to contain the malware is by patching the vulnerable IoT devices. However, this may take time, with many IoT producers not even including security patches in their offerings. Nonetheless, this remains the only fool-proof way of dealing with such high-threat malware and securing our connected devices.
    Source: ReadITQuik.com (Article: New IoT Malware Makes Mirai Look Like a Practice Run)
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