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The IoT_reaper Emerges as Latest Cyberthreat with an Army of Botnets

The IoT_reaper Emerges as the Latest Cyberthreat with a Growing Army of Botnets


The Internet of Things (IoT) has enabled technology to connect homes, cars, and entire cities. Security flaws within the IoT have been a concern since its launch. The most recent malware to enter the cyberthreat landscape directly exploits the security vulnerabilities of IoT devices and their networks. The IoT_reaper compromises devices, infects them, and creates a growing army of botnets. IoT_reaper is among the latest of malware attacks following a year of DDoS attacks claimed by various hackers.

A Growing Army of Botnets

The IoT_reaper infects devices through nine vulnerabilities. Cameras and routers are particularly at risk. Experts estimate that the malware has already infected approximately two million devices with a jaw-dropping 10,000 new devices infected per day. To put this latest threat into context, last year’s Mirai attack that took down a major DNS provider only required 100,000 infected IoT devices.

How to Protect Your IoT Devices

It’s critically important for IoT users to think about ways to secure their connected networks and remain vigilant against the increasing threats to cybersecurity. There are a few specific strategies to protect your IoT devices from IoT_reaper:

  • Update your router’s firmware with latest security patches. If you can’t find update information on your manufacturer’s website, call their help line for technical assistance to walk you through the process.
  • Put cybersecurity at the top of your priorities when shopping for and selecting new IoT devices. Research, ask questions, and understand a device’s security standards before adding it to your network.
  • Disconnect outdated and unused devices from your network. Trends and our usage habits change at a pace that is hard to follow. Take a quick inventory of your connected home and office spaces. Remove devices that are outdated or don’t get much use. A network with a few, frequently-used, and updated devices is better than a large, disorganized network of devices with update statuses that are unknown.
  • What to do if you are Already Infected

    The IoT_reaper is infecting devices at such a rapid pace that it’s possible you’ve already been hit. Check a list of commonly affected devices by CheckPoint. If your gadget is on the list, it’s still important to update your device as the hackers behind IoT_reaper haven’t yet made it entirely clear what they intend to do with their infected army of botnets. It’s possible that future updates could curtail what is shaping up to be a potentially devastating attack for some. Similar to our research and response to Petya and Not-Petya, we’re monitoring the situation closely. If you need recovery services following a cyberattack or malware infection, submit an online help form for a free quote.

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