FEAR THE REAPER
Fears grow after security researchers spot network of hacked devices that could cause havoc for companies across Europe and the UK
By Margi Murphy24th October 2017, 11:11 amUpdated: 24th October 2017, 2:25 pm
A MASSIVE botnet that has been gathering steam over the past few weeks is threatening to ravage the web, security researchers have warned.
A botnet uses collections of devices like wifi routers or smart webcams which have been hacked to collaboratively send surges of data to servers - causing them crash, disrupt services and ultimately go offline.
Check Point security found that attacks were coming from many different types of devices and many different countries Check Point security found that attacks were coming from many different types of devices and many different countries
Around this time last year, a similar attack called the Mirai botnet wiped out the internet across the US, targeting mostly the East Coast.
But Israeli security researchers at Check Point have discovered what they described as an entirely new and more sophisticated botnet that could cause a "cyber hurricane".
A blog post published on Check Point Research read: "So far we estimate over a million organisations have already been affected worldwide, including the US, Australia and everywhere in between, and the number is only increasing.
"Our research suggests we are now experiencing the calm before an even more powerful storm.
Every wifi router on the planet could be vulnerable, unless they have been patched to fix the vulnerability Every wifi router on the planet could be vulnerable, unless they have been patched to fix the vulnerability.
"The next cyber hurricane is about to come."
They claim the botnet, named Reaper, has already infected one million companies.
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Using Check Point’s Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) in the last few days of September, researchers spotted an increasing number of attempts were being made by hackers to exploit a combination of vulnerabilities found in various smart gadgets.
With each passing day, the malware appeared to exploit more and more vulnerabilities in Wireless IP Camera devices such as GoAhead, D-Link, TP-Link, AVTECH, NETGEAR, MikroTik, Linksys, Synology and others.
It became apparent that the attempted attacks were coming from many different sources and a variety of devices, meaning the attack was being spread by the devices themselves.
One tech website warned that Reaper could "take down the internet".
Check Point said we were experiencing "the calm before the storm" and warned that companies should make preparations for a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack which could potentially knock them offline.
DDoS attacks were made famous by Lizard Squad, the cyber gang that took down the PlayStation network during Christmas of 2014.
They involve flooding websites or other targets with traffic so they collapse.
Security experts have been told to check over company networks and take any of the possibly infected gadgets offline.
Those who might have the products in their home are told the same, although the only difference they might notice is slower wifi speeds.
Read the original article, with credits, here