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Microsoft Issues Guidance for Protecting Network Gateways from Mozi IoT Botnet

The Mozi botnet now targets Netgear, Huawei, and ZTE network gateways, Microsoft found.

The Mozi peer-to-peer botnet best known for recruiting IoT devices to wage distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, data exfiltration, and payload execution, has grown up: it's now able to hijack network gateways for more powerful attacks, Microsoft researchers have found.

Microsoft today published a detailed how-to on defending against Mozi, which now targets Netgear, Huawei, and ZTE. Infecting these routers allows attackers to gain a stronghold in a victim's network. 

"By infecting routers, they can perform man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks—via HTTP hijacking and DNS spoofing—to compromise endpoints and deploy ransomware or cause safety incidents in OT facilities," Microsoft said in a blog post.

The devices should be patched and running up-to-date software, and employ strong passwords, the vendor said.

"Network gateways are a particularly juicy target for adversaries because they are ideal as initial access points to corporate networks. Adversaries can search the internet for vulnerable devices via scanning tools like Shodan, infect them, perform reconnaissance, and then move laterally to compromise higher value targets—including information systems and critical industrial control system (ICS) devices in the operational technology (OT) networks," the blog explains.

Read the full post here