New IoT botnet unearthed, threatens global chaos

Haythem Elmir

A new IoT botnet, supposedly more dangerous than Mirai, is spreading globally and could soon be used to target organisations worldwide.
Cybersecurity firm Check Point revealed the existence of the botnet ‘Reaper,’ on Friday. The botnet shares similar characteristics to Mirai but is able to ‘evolve’ to exploit vulnerabilities in devices connected to the internet, the company says.

Tristan Liverpool, director of systems engineering, F5 Networks explains that Reaper is an evolution of the Mirai botnet that caused so much chaos on the Internet last year. Reaper has been quietly growing for over a month, propagating amongst many types of connected devices, now apparently numbering in the millions.

The biggest difference between the two is that Mirai tried to connect to devices via telnet protocol, utilising default or weak passwords to take control of devices, Liverpool explains. “In contrast, the Reaper botnet is looking to use exploits on unpatched devices, to take control of them and add it to the command and control platform. This means that it can continue to grow and be harnessed for all kinds of criminal activities,” he warns.
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