LizardStresser Botnet Launches 400G-bps Attack on IoT Devices
The LizardStresser botnet takes aim at Brazil with a massive DDoS attack, but it's not Internet-connected toasters that are attacking.The Internet of things movement has given rise to a new era of connected, vulnerable devices that are being assembled to enable a massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. Security firm Arbor Networks is reporting that it has discovered a botnet made up of IoT devices attacking institutions in Brazil with up to 400G bps of attack traffic. The IoT botnet makes use of the LizardStresser DDoS code that is designed to run on Linux. The LizardStresser code was originally developed by the Lizard Squad DDoS hacker group, which in the past has taken credit for attacks against Lenovo, Microsoft's Xbox Live and Sony's PlayStation Network. There are two parts to LizardStresser—the command and control (C2) server element and the client side, which is what runs on the compromised endpoint device, often referred to as a zombie. There isn't always a direct correlation between the number of C2s and zombies. In the case of the IoT botnet attacking Brazil, Kirk Soluk, threat intelligence and response manager at Arbor Networks, said there were estimated to be several thousand infected IoT devices for a small handful of C2s. It's also not entirely clear if all LizardStresser C2 nodes are under the control of a single threat actor or multiple groups. "It is not a one-to-one C2 to threat actor relationship or an all-C2-to-one threat actor type of relationship, but rather somewhere in the middle," Soluk told eWEEK. "Given that the source code for LizardStresser was leaked in early 2015, it is most likely a small number of C2s per threat actor."
For the 400G-bps IoT botnet that is attacking Brazil, Arbor Networks' analysis revealed that attackers were able to abuse Telnet ports on vulnerable devices. Telnet use has long been deprecated as a best practice by IT security professionals as it is an unencrypted approach for remote access. Soluk noted that it wouldn't be accurate to state that Telnet is left open on all IoT devices.