Bricker bot: A silver lining to force accountability for IoT security?

May 4, 2017 | 1569 Views

The Bricker bot made the news a couple of weeks ago for knocking unsecured IoT devices offline rather than hijacking them into other botnets and using them for a DDoS attack like the massive event we saw last year against DYN. This is the third botnet that targets insecure IoT devices, but the only one that is destructive. The second, dubbed Hajime, breaks into IoT devices, but instead of bricking them, it makes them more secure by disabling remote access to the device from the internet. Of course, Mirai was the first, but it has the same purpose as other botnets, which is to enslave IoT devices and use the computing power of its collection of bots for the purposes of the threat actor behind it.

While the Bricker bot may not yet be a worm with mass adoption, it could be a precursor of things to come. It has all the early indications of potentially being very dangerous (even more than it is today) as it gains greater appeal.

There are millions of unsecured devices just waiting for someone to hijack them, with hundreds of thousands more of them coming online every single day. Because so many of these devices have little to no security, they pose a serious risk to the digital economy. As we have seen, because of their pervasive deployment, marshaling them to engage in attacks like the massive DDoS attack last fall would almost certainly bring a considerable segment of the internet to a grinding halt, disrupting business, affecting services and potentially impacting critical infrastructure.

The Bricker bot is different, as it simply disables the internet connectivity of IoT devices. The alleged reason for the Bricker bot, according to its author, is to highlight the vulnerability of IoT devices. The argument goes that if vendors are not keen about making sure they ship devices that are secure by default, and if the owners arenā??t concerned about security either, then it is just a matter of time before these devices are breached and become part of a botnet. So, to warn the market about this problem, the Bricker bot author chose to simply knock them offline.  Read More

Source: Techtarget