BrickerBot is a vigilante worm that destroys insecure IoT devices

A hacker called The Janitor has created multiple versions of a program called BrickerBot, a system that searches out and bricks insecure IoT devices. A researcher named Pascal Geenens has followed the worm for a few weeks and has seen it pop up and essentially destroy infected webcams and other IoT devices.

The devices all used a Linux package called BusyBox and had exposed telnet-based interfaces with default passwords. These devices were easily exploited by the Mirai botnet, which essentially turned them into denial-of-service weapons.

BrickerBot finds these devices and renders them unusable. The first version attacked about a thousand devices and alternate versions attacked thousands more. It disabled the devices by formatting the internal memory.

“Like so many others I was dismayed by the indiscriminate DDoS attacks by IoT botnets in 2016. I thought for sure that the large attacks would force the industry to finally get its act together, but after a few months of record-breaking attacks it became obvious that in spite of all the sincere efforts the problem couldn’t be solved quickly enough by conventional means,” wrote the Janitor. “I consider my project a form of ‘Internet Chemotherapy;’ I sometimes jokingly think of myself as The Doctor. Chemotherapy is a harsh treatment that nobody in their right mind would administer to a healthy patient, but the Internet was becoming seriously ill in Q3 and Q4/2016 and the moderate remedies were ineffective.”

This sort of vigilante justice is fun and clever. If a user can’t secure their own systems, perhaps a bit of discriminate destruction is just what these things need to stop leaving admin passwords wide open.

Contact Radware

Contact Radware’s specialists to understand which products you need and the advantages they offer.

Contact Us
Contact Us

Online Form

Phone
Phone

877.524.1419