eSentire Security Advisory: Reaper IoT Botnet

By   ISBuzz Team
Writer , Information Security Buzz | Oct 26, 2017 06:15 am PST

The Threat

Researchers have discovered a large “Internet of Things” (IoT) botnet with similarities to Mirai. Known as “IoT Troop” or “Reaper”, this threat targets IoT devices by exploiting vulnerabilities on internet connected devices such as IP cameras and consumer grade routers. Compromised devices could be used to support Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DDoS) against targets worldwide.  While this botnet appears to be in the early stages of formation, organizations are encouraged to review denial of service strategies with service providers.

Recommended Actions

  • Review internal denial of service strategies. Have a plan in place in the event of a denial of service attack.
  • Discuss denial of service strategies with service providers. Understand their capacity to withstand attacks, responsive actions and associated costs.

In the event of an attack eSentire recommends:

  • Traffic diversion to a dedicated DDoS Mitigation service using BGP or DNS based routing.
  • In-line filtering, using a hardware appliance such as Web Application Firewalls (WAFs). This will provide protection against application-layer attacks.
  • Identifying and disabling the attack vector(s). This may involve disabling vulnerable services or removing large files from online services.

Additional Information

In mid-September 2017, researchers at Qihoo 360 and Check Point reported an increase in attacks against IoT devices. Similarly, eSentire has observed an upward trend in attacks targeting IoT. Unlike past botnets, strong passwords will not be enough keep devices safe from infection, as Reaper targets manufacturer vulnerabilities. There is currently no known target for the Reaper botnet, but it can be expected that DDoS attacks would likely target DMZ exposed assets as well as cloud-hosted services.

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