Possible return of Mirai malware US

18 Mar 2019

Cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks has found that a new variant of Mirai malware has been discovered. Mirai is best known for being used in the 2016 distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. This time, the new variant targets devices such as routers, network storage devices, network video recorders, and IP cameras. This development, according to the report, indicates that Mirai might be used to target enterprises this time. The report warns that enterprises need to be aware of the status of their Internet of things (IoT) devices on their network and therefore should ‘change default passwords, ensure that devices are fully up-to-date on patches. And in the case of devices that cannot be patched, to remove those devices from the network as a last resort’.

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The Internet of Things (IoT) includes a wide range of Internet-connected devices, from highly digitalised cars, home appliances (e.g. fridges), and smart watches, to digitalised clothes that can monitor health. IoT devices are often connected in wide-systems, typically described as 'smart houses' or 'smart cities'.

Cybersecurity is among the main concerns of governments, Internet users, technical and business communities. Cyberthreats and cyberattacks are on the increase, and so is the extent of the financial loss. 

Yet, when the Internet was first invented, security was not a concern for the inventors. In fact, the Internet was originally designed for use by a closed circle of (mainly) academics. Communication among its users was open.

Cybersecurity came into sharper focus with the Internet expansion beyond the circle of the Internet pioneers. The Internet reiterated the old truism that technology can be both enabling and threatening. What can be used to the advantage of society can also be used to its disadvantage.


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