Zombies in Home automation & IoT

December 27, 2015 | 10:04
Zombies in Home automation & IoT
Zombies in Home automation & IoT
At the BotConf 2015 Conference, which brought together 265 experts from 34 countries in Paris last week, the daily paper “Le Monde” offered a description of the problems posed by “Botnets” – networks of enslaved “Zombie” computers controlled by a hacker without the knowledge of their owners. Members of a network of identical computers, these robots stand waiting, sometimes for years, to be mobilized for an attack. The oldest known such network dates from 2003 and is still active.

Another menace raised by this article is that of the rapid development of the “Internet of Things” (IoT). The IoT risks enabling the proliferation of small networks of Zombie computers, which relative amateurs "can easily create thanks to tools already available on the internet. Dark Comet, created by a Frenchman, is a simple tool for remote administration of computers. It gives a hacker complete control over an infected computer, even giving super-powers over the operating system that the legitimate owner does not have. A South African expert discovered 20 000 instances of Dark Comet command centers, and confirmed that with more time and resources, he would without doubt have discovered lots more. Of this number, 1,300 of them were found to be very active, with control centers in the United States, Turkey, Russia, Romania, France ..."

In his Le Monde article (in French) “On the internet: The endless war against Zombie Computer Botnets”, Yves Eudes also averted readers to the appearance of other fertile grounds for the propagation of Botnets: Smartphones and home automation (which work through vulnerable small domestic routers). For a deeper understanding of this subject, Xavier Martens’ blog gives a complete summary of the third day of the conference.
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