Linux IoT botnet retooled to send spam email

Haythem Elmir

An IoT botnet has set its hooks in about 4,500 – 5,000 proxy devices to send spam emails which each device capable of sending 400 messages or a total of 1.8 million messages per day.

The Linux.ProxyM first appeared in February 2017 and had peaked at 10,000 bots by July 2017 before dwindling in size. The botnet was purpose built to function as a giant mesh of proxy servers running on smart devices but was retooled to send spam emails as well, Bleeping Computer researchers said in a Sept. 22 blog post.

The botnet infects devices by taking over IoT equipment still using default credentials. Although the botnet sends out 1.8 million messages per day, researchers said the number is relatively low to avoid having Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) added to spam blacklists.

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