Story image

the IoTroop botnet: Could it be the next 'cyber hurricane'?

25 Oct 2017

Last year the Mirai IoT botnet caused mayhem worldwide, but it seems there’s a more dangerous successor on the horizon, researchers from Check Point are warning.

The rapid evolution of ‘IoTroop’ is happening much faster than the Mirai botnet; and it is enslaving IoT devices at a faster rate too.

This is leading to a large network of devices, known as a botnet, which is able to be remotely controlled by attackers. In the past, botnets such as Mirai have caused damage to millions of IoT devices including routers, DVRs and CCTV cameras.

In a blog, Check Point researchers say there is some evidence to suggest a possible connection to the Mirai Botnet, however IoTroop is new and much more sophisticated.

It is targeting vulnerabilities in a number of wireless IP camera devices, including those made by D-Link, TP-Link, Linksys, NETGEAR, AVTECH, MikroTik, Synology and GoAhead. So far it has affected more than one million organisations worldwide, including Asia and Australia.

Researchers warn that ‘the next cyber hurricane’ is about to arrive.

“It is too early to guess the intentions of the threat actors behind it, but with previous Botnet DDoS attacks essentially taking down the Internet, it is vital that organizations make proper preparations and defense mechanisms are put in place before an attack strikes,” researchers explain.

Check Point was alerted after spotting suspicious activity that tried to defeat its IoT IPS protections. Amongst the attack sources was an IP camera with an open port. Its CVE-2017-8225 vulnerability was used to infect the device, which then searched for other devices to infect.

"On further inspection, the System.ini file (shown below) of the device at this IP was accessed to check for compromise. On a normal machine, this file would contain the credentials of the user. What was found on this device, however, was an edited version with a ‘Netcat’ command which opened a reverse shell to the attack’s IP. This tells us that this machine was merely one link in the chain and that it was both infected and then also transmitting the infection. In this case the ‘CVE-2017-8225’ vulnerability was used to penetrate the GoAhead device and, after infecting a target machine, that same target started to look for other devices to infect.”

“Upon further research, it was found that numerous devices were both being targeted and later sending out the infection. These attacks were coming from many different types of devices and many different countries, totaling approximately 60% of the corporate networks which are part of the ThreatCloud global network,” researchers explain.

Check Point customers are protected from the IoTroop botnet. The threat is still emerging and millions of attacks are still being conducted, the company says.

Kiwis know security is important, but they're not doing much about it
Only 49% of respondents use antivirus software and even fewer – just 19% -  change their passwords regularly.
Avi Networks: Using visibility to build trust
Visibility, also referred to as observability, is a core tenet of modern application architectures for basic operation, not just for security.
Privacy: The real cost of “free” mobile apps
Sales of location targeted advertising, based on location data provided by apps, is set to reach $30 billion by 2020.
Myth-busting assumptions about identity governance - SailPoint
The identity governance space has evolved and matured over the past 10 years, changing with the world around it.
Forrester names Crowdstrike leader in incident response
The report provides an in-depth evaluation of the top 15 IR service providers across 11 criteria.
Slack doubles down on enterprise key management
EKM adds an extra layer of protection so customers can share conversations, files, and data while still meeting their own risk mitigation requirements.
Security professionals want to return fire – Venafi
Seventy-two percent of professionals surveyed believe nation-states have the right to ‘hack back’ cybercriminals.
Alcatraz AI to replace corporate badges with AI security
The Palo Alto-based startup supposedly leverages facial recognition, 3D sensing, and machine learning to enable secure access control.