Spam

A scatter plot diagram of compromised home routers.

Vigilante botnet highlights woeful state of embedded device security

A mysterious piece of software, dubbed Wifatch, has been infecting tens of thousands of Linux-based home routers and, according to experts at Symantec, attempts to secure them from attack. But Wifatch’s benevolent intentions shouldn’t obscure its malicious actions, or the security problems that it takes advantage of. The malicious software runs on vulnerable, Linux-based home routers. There, it removes other malware infections, disables vulnerable services like Telnet and even prompts users to update their administrator user name and password to prevent compromise, according to a post on Symantec’s blog. But the malware is still spreading between vulnerable systems without the owners consent and could easily be pressed into service distributing spam or malicious software, experts note. According to Symantec, Wifatch is likely spreading between infected devices by targeting exposed Telnet interfaces and using brute force password attacks to gain access to the devices. Tens of thousands of devices may have been infected […]