We’ve talked a little bit about botnets when we talked about DDoS attacks. To go into a little more detail, a botnet is basically a huge army of computers or devices that are being utilized unbeknownst to the owner of the device. The Mirai botnet was used in the DDoS attack that shook the internet recently, but now a new botnet is rearing its ugly head. Let’s take a look at Brickerbot.
Brickerbot is wreaking havoc on the IoT.
The Internet of Things is a prime target for botnets due to their lax or nonexistent security settings. Most users don’t configure their devices beyond the factory settings as they should, and this leaves their passwords completely open for malicious intent. Basically, Brickerbot is targeting devices without unique security settings, but unlike Mirai or other botnets, this botnet simply destroys the devices from the inside out. This action renders the device useless, or rather, a brick. Hence the name “Brickerbot.”
The origins and intent of Brickerbot are unclear.
One of the things that makes this botnet so interesting is the fact that it shuts devices down rather than utilizes them. Originally, experts thought that this was either the work of a vigilante trying to stop hackers from gaining access to the IoT while encouraging users to strengthen their security protocols. Though this is possible, other experts believe that this is the work of a rival who is seeking to gain control of various botnets by knocking out the competition. Though it is impossible to know how and why Brickerbot is mounting its attack, what we do know is that you should never leave a device of any kind on its default security settings. Not only can it be hacked, but it can also be bricked.
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