Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

5/9/2017
04:25 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail
100%
0%

New IoT Botnet Discovered, 120K IP Cameras At Risk of Attack

The Persirai IoT botnet, which targets IP cameras, arrives hot on the heels of Mirai and highlights the growing threat of IoT botnets.

Researchers at Trend Micro have discovered a new Internet of Things (IoT) botnet that leaves than 120,000 Internet Protocol (IP) cameras vulnerable to attack.

The botnet, dubbed Persirai, was discovered targeting more than 1,000 different models of IP cameras. Persirai hits IoT devices a few months after the Mirai botnet, which wreaked havoc by compromising DVRs and CCTV cameras to fuel a massive DDoS attack in October 2016.

The researchers uncovered Persirai when they found four command and control (C&C) servers and explored the vulnerabilities associated with them, explains Jon Clay, global director of threat communications at Trend Micro.

In analyzing the malware, they found it was targeting IP cameras. Using the Shodan tool, they spotted more than 120,000 devices exposed on the public Internet. IP cameras are visible targets for IoT malware because they usually use the Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) open network protocols that let devices open a port on the router and act as a server.

The most notable difference between Mirai and Persirai is that Mirai used brute-force login attempts to steal credentials, and Persirai uses a zero-day vulnerability made public months ago. Attackers exploiting this vulnerability can get the password file from the user, which gives them access to the device.

After they get into the victim camera, the attacker can use it to perform a DDoS attack on other computers with User Datagram Protocol (UDP) floods, as described on the Trend Micro blog. The threat actor can provide an IP address in the port where they want to launch the DDoS attempt, and target any IP in the world.

The compromised camera can be used to discover other victims, which can be infected using the same zero-day vulnerability. From there, they can continue stealing password files and securing the ability to perform command injections and continue the spread of malicious code.

Researchers found affected IP cameras report to C&C servers using the .IR country code, which is managed by an Iranian research institute. They also discovered special Persian characters used by the malware author. However, this does not indicate the attacker is Iranian.

Clay says the use of this zero-day vulnerability indicates Persirai will continue to be a threat. Interestingly, the malware erases itself once the target machine has been infected, and will only run in memory. This makes it tougher to detect code once it's gone.

"Attackers behind this are likely to continue and pursue other vulnerabilities, and look for other IoT devices that have similar vulnerabilities associated with them," he explains. The attacker can build a bigger, or separate, botnet focused on those devices.

Mirai taught us that it doesn't take a lot of devices to cause a massive DDoS attack, Clay continues. With more than 100,000 IP cameras left vulnerable, there is a high risk.

"Their devices are going to be used to potentially perform DDoS attacks against other organizations or other people," he says of potential victims. "You're unwittingly being used as a pawn in a criminal's efforts."

IP camera users are advised to stay updated on the latest security patches and strengthen passwords so they are tougher to brute-force attack. Most users don't know their IP cameras are exposed online and don't change the default password, researchers explain. Many won't even know if their IP camera is conducting a DDoS attack.

Manufacturers need to work on improving the login process by looking beyond passwords and using biometrics or two-factor authentication to strengthen device security, says Clay.

Related Content

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Commentary
What the FedEx Logo Taught Me About Cybersecurity
Matt Shea, Head of Federal @ MixMode,  6/4/2021
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
A View From Inside a Deception
Sara Peters, Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  6/2/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-23394
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-13
The package studio-42/elfinder before 2.1.58 are vulnerable to Remote Code Execution (RCE) via execution of PHP code in a .phar file. NOTE: This only applies if the server parses .phar files as PHP.
CVE-2021-34682
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-12
Receita Federal IRPF 2021 1.7 allows a man-in-the-middle attack against the update feature.
CVE-2021-31811
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-12
In Apache PDFBox, a carefully crafted PDF file can trigger an OutOfMemory-Exception while loading the file. This issue affects Apache PDFBox version 2.0.23 and prior 2.0.x versions.
CVE-2021-31812
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-12
In Apache PDFBox, a carefully crafted PDF file can trigger an infinite loop while loading the file. This issue affects Apache PDFBox version 2.0.23 and prior 2.0.x versions.
CVE-2021-32552
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-12
It was discovered that read_file() in apport/hookutils.py would follow symbolic links or open FIFOs. When this function is used by the openjdk-16 package apport hooks, it could expose private data to other local users.