Security firm Incapsula discovers massive botnet, spans 109 countries worldwide

best cable modems internet router
According to a new report from the internet security firm Incapsula, a massive botnet spanning 109 different countries around the world has been tearing its way through SOHO (small office/home office) routers since December of last year.

Set up as a network of devices ready to respond to any DDoS operations its masters might need to launch, the spread of the infection started with the notorious “Spike” malware variant, which has since morphed into what Incapsula refers to as “MrBlack”.

MrBlack is a tool which works by first infecting the device of a user who has left their router security credentials as the default option for remote administration. We spoke about this issue briefly in the last edition of Decrypt This, wherein consumers will keep the username/password combo to get into their home router as “admin” and “password”, respectively. The botnet seeks out any routers tagged with these credentials, and after automatically accessing the hub, will infect the network and lie in wait for its next command.

“After inspecting a sample of 13,000 malware files, we saw that on average, each compromised router held four variants of MrBlack malware, as well as additional malware files, including Dofloo and Mayday, which are also used for DDoS attacks,” said the report’s author.

For now, the hardest hit by the attack are routers made by the little-known company Ubiquiti. The company is primarily concerned with providing bulk network hub solutions that ISPs can lease out to customers on a month-to-month basis, and its involvement just goes to show that as the router industry moves more toward homogeneity and away from specific innovations, the threat to our information and identities becomes greater than ever before.

Incapsula’s investigation into the source of the problem uncovered that about 85% of the devices affected by the problem reside in either Thailand or Brazil, while 21% of the command-and-control servers are located in the United States. Though there’s no hard evidence to make a connection just yet, Incapsula says there has been an increased amount of chatter in a known Anonymous hangout about the botnet, as well as rumblings on Lizard Squad’s Twitter page about a revival of their older Stresser tool.

“Based on the profile of targets and the attack patterns, we know these compromised routers are being exploited by several groups or individuals. For instance, our analysis also shows that several of these malware variants are reporting to AnonOps IRC channel, indicating that Anonymous [could be] one of the groups responsible for exploiting these under-protected devices,” read the report.

These frayed links have leads researchers to believe that even if the two groups aren’t directly involved, they’re still interested in emulating the techniques used by its true perpetrator.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on this botnet as more details about its proliferation surface, so stay tuned to Digital Trends for all the latest updates.

Music

From Jay Rock to Saba, these are the 50 best albums of 2018

We've spent the year listening to new albums, digging deep, and culling our master list into 50 favorites. From blockbuster releases to hidden gems, these are the best albums of 2018.
Computing

Lost your router? Here's how to find its IP address to help track it down

Changing the login information for your router isn't always easy, that's why so many have that little card on the back. But in order to use it, you need to know where to go. Here's how to find the IP address of your router.
Computing

Fix those internet dead zones by turning an old router into a Wi-Fi repeater

Is there a Wi-Fi dead zone in your home or office? A Wi-Fi repeater can help. Don't buy a new one, though. Here is how to extend Wi-Fi range with another router you have lying around.
Mobile

Apple's iOS 12.1.1 makes it easier to switch cameras in FaceTime

After months of betas, the final version of iOS 12 is here to download. The latest OS comes along with tons of new capabilities, from grouped notifications to Siri Shortcuts. Here are all the features you'll find in iOS 12.
Home Theater

Confused about LED vs. LCD TVs? Here's everything you need to know

Our LED vs. LCD TV buying guide explains why these two common types of displays are fundamentally connected, how they differ, what to look for in buying an LED TV, and what's on the horizon for TVs.
Computing

Canada’s winters inspired a startup to warm homes with cryptomining heat waste

Cryptomining may be the key to untold riches and the future of currency, but it’s also an environmental nightmare. Heatmine, thinks it has the answer, but it could mean bolting a mining rig onto every home and business in the country.
Product Review

The Asus ZenBook 14 is a tiny notebook that gets lost in the crowd

The ZenBook 14 aims to be the smallest 14-inch notebook around, and it succeeds thanks to some tiny bezels. Performance and battery life are good, but the notebook lacks a standout feature other than size.
Deals

The best MacBook deals for December 2018

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Computing

How to connect AirPods to your MacBook

If you have new AirPods, you may be looking forward to pairing them with your MacBook. Our guide will show you exactly how to connect AirPods to MacBook, what to do if they are already paired with a device, and more.
Computing

Hitting ‘Check for updates’ in Windows 10 opts you into beta releases

Users who are careful about keeping their system updated should watch out -- Microsoft revealed this week that clicking the Check for updates button in Windows can opt you in to testing beta code.
Computing

Secure your Excel documents with a password by following these quick steps

Excel documents are used by people and businesses all over the world. Given how often they contain sensitive information, it makes sense to keep them from the wrong eyes. Thankfully, it's easy to secure them with a password.
Computing

Which Macs are compatible with MacOS Mojave?

Is your computer ready for Apple's big Mojave update? Here's what you need to know about MacOS Mojave compatibility, what Macs can successful download Mojave, and the requirements you need to know about.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Computing

Change your mouse cursor in Windows with these quick tips

The standard mouse cursor is boring, so change it! With this guide on how to change your mouse cursor in Windows, you can choose to use one of Microsoft's pre-installed cursors or download something a bit more extravagant.