Westcon-Comstor is currently warning businesses about the new Hajime botnet, which has 300 000 obeying devices and is currently conquering the IoT world.
If you thought the IoT botnet Mirai was bad, Westcon-Comstor warns of Hajime, which currently has 300 000 obeying devices which is currently conquering the Internet of Things world.
Hajime is, according to Westcon-Comstor vendor partner Kaspersky “a mysterious evolving Internet of Things (IoT) malware that builds a huge peer-to-peer botnet”. Notably the botnet has of late been propagating extensively and infecting multiple devices worldwide, reports reveal that there are almost 300 000 malware-compromised devices.
“If the Mirai attack is still fresh in your minds, the fact that there are 300 000 malware-compromised devices, all ready to work as one to act under the instructions of their master without our knowledge, is a terrifying thought,” states Andrew Potgieter, Director Security Solutions at Westcon-Comstor Southern Africa. “While Hajime’s purpose is still unknown, it surely can’t be for the good of the world if it has been slowly growing in scale since it was first detected in October 2016.”
Not dissimilar to Mirai, Hajime is once again building a huge peer-to-peer botnet – a decentralised group of compromised machines discreetly performing spam or DDoS attacks. While Kaspersky Labs cites that there is no actual attacking code or capability they can see in Hajime and it is still only has a propagation module, the family of tools are different. Particularly in that they make use of different techniques – mainly brute-force attacks on device passwords – to infect devices, and then takes a number of steps to conceal itself from the compromised victim.
“The devices currently targeted by Hajime to date are reportedly Digital Video Recorders, followed by web-cameras and routers. But that said this particular threat doesn’t attack a specific device and will snoop out any device connected to the Internet. The name Hajime, means ‘beginning’ in Japanese, it is important we are forewarned so that this is not the beginning of another large scale cyber-attack that takes the world’s Internet down for a day,” adds Potgieter.
According to Kaspersky Lab researchers the infections they have noted to date have primarily come from Vietnam (over 20%), Taiwan (almost 13%) and Brazil (around 9%) at the time of their research and most of the compromised devices are located in Iran, Vietnam and Brazil.
“In order to get ahead of Hajime the basic principles apply and we urge all customers to change the passwords on all IoT and Internet-enabled devices. More importantly as Hajime uses brute force, passwords need to be clever and difficult to crack. Additionally, users must update their firmware on devices, if this is an option. Such simple tactics can stop an attack in its tracks.
“While we sit in wait to see what the purpose of Hajime is, it is better to be forewarned and forearmed,” says Potgieter.
Welcome to world of 2099
The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.
Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.
This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.
Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.
As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.
“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”
The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.
“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”
- Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube
Use the page links below to continue reading about Tan’s visions.
Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com
This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.
Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.
What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.
However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.
As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.
It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.
The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.
To enter the competition follow the steps below:
Competition entry details:
3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.
4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.
5. The competition is only open to South African residents.