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Vulnerabilities / Threats

6/7/2018
10:00 AM
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7 Variants (So Far) of Mirai

Mirai is an example of the newest trend in rapidly evolving, constantly improving malware. These seven variants show how threat actors are making bad malware worse.
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Change, as we know, is the only constant. Malware – which is evolving rapidly, sprouting new features and functionality, and becoming more difficult to find and eradicate – is no exception to the rule. 

One of the most notable examples is Mirai, botnet malware first described in August 2016. Mirai quickly won notoriety as the engine for some of the largest DDoS attacks seen to date.

Ever since Mirai's author, a hacker going by the handle Anna-Senpai, released the malware's source code less than two years ago, the malware community has been enthusiastically developing new variants. Some change specific IoT devices, some change the purpose of the bots, some combine Mirai with other malware families, and some add new capabilities and functionality. With every new variant, the legacy of Mirai is extended.

With agile discipline spreading to malware, it is useful to look at the evolution of Mirai as an example of what could happen to other malware families. While there is nothing new in malware authors trying to stay ahead of defenders, their methods and the speed with which their new variants are entering the public sphere have become more advanced.

 

Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Editor at Dark Reading. In this role he focuses on product and technology coverage for the publication. In addition he works on audio and video programming for Dark Reading and contributes to activities at Interop ITX, Black Hat, INsecurity, and ... View Full Bio

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MarkSindone
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MarkSindone,
User Rank: Moderator
12/22/2018 | 1:30:53 AM
Under control
Malware, like technology, is constantly improving. There really isn't any particular one way that can totally diminish this entire threat for good. However, it is still in our best interests that we take note of them so as to know what to expect and how to handle and take them down for good using the correct methods. If we find out about them without knowing the counter measures to be put in place, then we might suffer even tougher consequences that might just be irreversible.
PaulChau
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PaulChau,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/18/2018 | 2:59:56 AM
Beat the robots
It's scary to think that there are more than people trying to introduce hazards and dangers into our systems you know. These bots are so easily configured to attack from a different angle just by switching up a line or two of code! Security teams are really going to have to work hard to stay ahead of the game now!
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