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Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Wondering About IoT Botnet Attacks?

A group of hacked computers, Internet-connected devices, or smart appliances coopted for some illicit purpose is called an IoT Botnet. The word Botnet is a combination of “Robot” and “Network”

how iot worksYou must be thinking of what are these attacks used for considering the way internet of things platform works.

You must have heard about DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-service) attacks. IoT botnet can be further used for stealing data, spamming, getting access to the device and its network. It doesn’t matter if you are a layman or an IoT engineer.

The Dyn DDoS attack is one of the largest IoT botnet attacks measuring up to 1.2Tbps resulted in Internet cutoff across the US and Europe. Mirai botnet was used against Dyn Company. Small botnets cost up to $200-700 with an average price amounted to $0.50 per bot.

iot engineerIt is not illegal to buy or rent or make such botnet, but you need to have permission to control it, and many research labs own botnets. This is a serious issue for exploiting IoT growth. As it infects the devices sitting at the IoT edge with malware and takes control over IoT cloud breaching the network.


IoT Botnet: The Notables

Earthlink Spammer

It got its public recognition in 2000. This botnet sends large numbers of phishing emails masked as communications from legitimate websites. This IoT botnet infects the victim’s devices and the virus remotely feeds the information to the sender.


Discovered in 2007, malware targets Windows systems and distributed via the Pushdo Trojan turning the infected system into a Spambot. Message labs identified Cutwail and it had the potential of sending 74 billion spam emails per day.


It is the biggest digital ad malware which acquired thousands of US-based ISPs. 6000 domains and 250,267 distinct URLs were created which appeared as premium publishers, the video ads from malicious websites were posted here sending their bots on “watch” around 30 million ads daily.


Was discovered in 2016 which infects smart devices running on ARC processor turning them into IoT botnet which is used to launch DDoS attacks.


Discovered in 2018, this IoT botnet consists of three different yet interconnected sub-operations so that it can evade investigation after perpetrating ad fraud skillfully. The only goal of this malware was to steal as much money as possible from the global ad industry without getting detected.

iot cloud

IoT botnet has been a constant threat to the IT infrastructure which requires an assertive, aggressive, and skilled cybersecurity approach.

You must be wondering whether any way to prevent IoT botnets is. Fortunately, there are ways.

  • By limiting the capabilities of the devices like all devices don’t need remote access.
  • If we need remote access then we also need strong device authentication.
  • The software and firmware updates must be from authorized sources.

These methods prevent IoT botnet attacks to a great extent.

IoT Botnet turns “Innocent Things” to “ThinkBots” by exploiting a device or breaching a network protocol and hampering the Internet of Things growth. Security of IoT devices is a serious issue and must be treated well.


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Aurora Chowdhury
Aurora Chowdhury is a Business Psychology Graduate from Kingston University, London. She has expertise in domains like Business Psychology, Management, Strategic Management, and Business Strategy. She has a growth mindset and strongly believes in perseverance. She regularly writes for various websites and also conducts counselling sessions.

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