The Internet of Things Is Under Attack

October 30, 2017 - 4 minutes read

Image Source: Robot Tip

There’s always something new brewing in cybersecurity. Unfortunately, the headlines aren’t exactly giving good news. We’re only now catching our breaths from the KRACK WiFi hack, yet there are already a few other threats to watch out for.

Sorry, Internet of Things developers, but this latest installment about hacks focuses on your domain.

Your Raspberry Pi Could Be Infected With Mining Malware

The Raspberry Pi is a crowd favorite among hardware hackers and IoT developers around the world. Approximately 12.5 million Pis have been sold because they are so versatile and easy to use.

That’s why the thought of malware made for this device is so terrifying. Anti-malware company Dr. Web recently discovered “Linux.MulDrop.14,” a malware that turns the Pi into a cryptocurrency miner.

It’s unclear what cryptocurrency the malware is mining. But with major cryptocoin¬†prices so high these days, it’s safe to assume that the malware harnesses several Pis together to do its bidding. One or even a few Pis would barely make any progress, so this attack must have been meant for mass-scale.

The Reaper IoT Botnet Is a Bigger Threat Than You Imagined

The IoT Reaper, also known as the IoTrooper, is a botnet threat that improves upon the Mirai malware. In case you don’t remember, Mirai basically hijacked gadgets that had weak passwords. Boston and New York City developers probably remember it best as the catalyst behind the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that caused internet outages across the eastern United States a little more than a year ago.

Whereas Mirai simply guessed the passwords of devices that had weak ones, Reaper utilizes actual IoT software-hacking methods to get in and then spread to other devices. Like Mirai, Reaper can infect both internet routers and internet-connected devices like surveillance cameras. Many manufacturers of these devices have already released patches to fight Reaper. Unfortunately, a substantial number of gadget users don’t update their device software regularly.

Cybersecurity companies Check Point and Qihoo 360 released their findings about Reaper, and it’s disconcerting, to say the least. The malware is present on more than a million networks. Check Point deduces that about 60 percent of its tracked networks are infected. Qihoo 360 found that the hackers behind this malware communicate with about 10,000 devices daily, and millions more are in queue to be added to their network.

Reaper hasn’t been used to leverage a full-scale DDoS attack yet. But its versatility over Mirai ensures that it has the potential to launch a gargantuan one. The motive behind Reaper isn’t known yet, but it is known that the malware houses code which would effectively allow it to rapidly weaponize its infected army of gadgets in preparation for a DDoS attack.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled

As with any frontier, the Internet of Things can resemble lawless lands at times. If you’re reading this blog, you probably love tech. And it always pays to protect what you love.

So if you haven’t already, take 5 more minutes to check if any patch updates have been released for your devices. As cumbersome as it is, maintenance is always better than repair!

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