Threat actors use botnets—networks of infected computers—for various cybercriminal purposes, most significantly distributed denial of service attacks against predefined targets. Today, botnets with distributed denial of services (DDoS) capabilities are even for sale on the Dark Web. In March 2016 our IBM report The inside story on botnets explored the botnet cybercrime landscape. How has this threat evolved?

One of the most important changes, the rising use of compromised Internet of Things devices in botnet operations, is the focus of this report. The IBM® X-Force® team has been tracking the threat from weaponized IoT devices—thingbots—and in this report we examine several 2016 attacks and the motivations behind them. Most notably, we report on the use of the Mirai botnet in several attacks and our observation of increased scanning on specific ports associated with the Mirai botnet. We also look at recent examples of attackers compromising IoT devices for malicious purposes other than botnet DDoS attacks. To read more, please download this report…

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