Hide'n'Seek IoT botnet adds persistence

Posted by   Martijn Grooten on   May 9, 2018

The Hide'n'Seek IoT botnet has received an update to make its infection persist on infected devices beyond a restart, Bitdefender reports.

Though persistence is fairly common for traditional botnets that target (Windows) PCs, a device that is part of a botnet targeting the Internet of Things (IoT) can often be 'cleaned' simply by rebooting it. Bitdefender believes Hide'n'Seek to be the first IoT botnet to be able to survive reboots, just as it was the first to use a custom peer-to-peer protocol.

Like most IoT botnets, Hide'n'Seek has mostly infected routers and IP-based cameras, which are often connected directly to the Internet. However, once a router has been infected, it can be used as a stepping stone to infect more devices on the network behind it, as long as it uses weak or known credentials. Indeed, the botnet supports at least ten different binaries.

For persistence, the malware needs to have root access on the device, which is then used to copy the binary to the /etc/inid.d/ directory, which is common on *nix operating systems. While this doesn't exactly hide the malware's presence, running security software on IoT devices is neither common nor practical, so detection is unlikely to be a major concern for the authors.

At VB2018 in Montreal, Bitdefender researchers Adrian Șendroiu and Vladimir Diaconescu will present a paper in which they take a thorough look at this botnet. Just before their talk, Ya Liu and Hui Wang from Qihoo will discuss the various variants of what may be the the best known botnet: Mirai.

Registration for VB2018 is now open, so book your ticket now to guarantee a place at one of the most international security conferences – register before 1 July to qualify for an Early Bird discount.

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