As if the likes of WannaCry and Petya did not do enough damage, another malware attack may be on the cards ready. According to the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), as per the intelligence inputs it received, a massive cyber attack has broken out in several countries including India, The Hindu reported.
The news of the malware attack was confirmed to the publication by the Maharashtra Cyber Police officers. The attack is expected to be similar to the Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack that hit Mumbai last year. Apparently, the DDOS attack is going to be on a much larger scale than last year, and is currently being readied using malware known by two names, Reaper and IoTroop, and it is taking over thousands of machines connected to the internet as we speak.
Maharashtra IG (Cyber) Brijesh Singh told The Hindu, “Mirai had acquired five lakh devices. The Reaper malware has already affected two million devices worldwide, and is acquiring 10,000 devices per day. It seems to be targeting CCTV camera systems and Digital Video Recorders connected to the internet.” ALSO READ: ‘Rapid digitisation making India favourite cyber attack target’
“It’s difficult to say at this point exactly who the targets are, but we have enough information to indicate that machines connected to the internet, including cell phones, laptops, CCTV cameras and other devices, are susceptible. A large number of such machines are being hacked and turned into bots as we speak. Our cyber intelligence network indicates a lot of abnormal behaviour on the internet, consistent with hacking of devices,” a cyber police officer told the publication. ALSO READ: Global cyber attack hits hospitals, schools and companies; India among countries hit
Essentially, in an attack like this, hackers use malware to infect devices, which then turn them into bots, which do their bidding. Reportedly, the people behind Reaper are currently creating a huge network of bots, called a botnet. “Once the botnet is ready as per the perpetrators’ requirements, they simply have to command the bots to ping servers of the target all at once, resulting in a server crash. Depending on the size of the company or industry targeted, it will result in massive losses of revenue.” ALSO READ: India, Pakistan targets of ‘state-sponsored’ cyber attack: Symantec
In 2016, over two and a half million Internet of Things (IoT) devices were infected by Mirai botnet. Mirai malware turned networked devices running on obsolete versions of Linux into remotely controlled “bots”, and used them for large-scale network attacks. ALSO READ: India has talent, tools yet can’t tackle big cyber attacks: Report