BrickerBot Author Retires Claiming to Have Bricked over 10 Million IoT Devices By

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Solarquest

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AV-Tester
Jul 22, 2014
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The author of the BrickerBot malware has announced his retirement in an email to Bleeping Computer, also claiming to have bricked over 10 million devices since he started the "Internet Chemotherapy" project in November 2016.

Known as The Doctor (self-given name) and The Janit0r (HackForums nickname), this individual (or group) is the author of BrickerBot, a malware strain that was purposely created to brick IoT devices.

First spotted in April this year, BrickerBot operates by scanning the Internet for vulnerable devices and then using exploit code to gain a foothold on the exposed equipment to rewrite the device's flash storage with random data.

Devices infected with BrickerBot often need to be reinstalled, or in some cases, replaced altogether, as the malware sometimes rewrites their firmware.

BrickerBot is a controversial project
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The Janit0r preaches IoT security before going in the shadows
Janit0r's farewell message also includes some advice. For starters, he recommends that ISPs use basic tools like Shodan to audit their own networks and isolate ports and services that do not need to be exposed online.

Second, he advises users to sanction IoT vendors that do not deliver security updates in a timeline manner and refuse to purchase devices from a known offender.

Third, lobbying politicians about IoT security standards is also a good way to push IoT security forward.

Fourth, Janit0r advises security researchers to volunteer their free time to organizations such as GDI Foundation or the Shadowserver Foundation, which have been working to secure some of these vulnerable devices.

Last but not least, he advises that some of us that have too much time and money on our hands to start legal actions against the owners of some of these vulnerable devices. Janit0r believes that a constant legal threat could force companies and ISPs to install security updates and isolate equipment on private networks in a timely manner.

We'll end this article with a message from The Janit0r —original text preserved.

YOU SHOULD WAKE UP TO THE FACT THAT THE INTERNET IS ONLY ONE OR TWO SERIOUS IOT EXPLOITS AWAY FROM BEING SEVERELY DISRUPTED.

 

Solarquest

Moderator
Staff member
AV-Tester
Jul 22, 2014
1,925
15,559
#2
It's incredible and sad to see how little changed, how many (IOT, smartphones) devices are still vulnerable and worse of all, without available patches nor regular updates.

Until companies are not forced by law to provide updates for at least some years things won't probably get better.