Observing this destructive capacity of BrickerBot, the Homeland Security’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) cautions that “BrickerBot attacks are capable of exploiting hard-coded passwords in IoT devices” as well as “exposing SSH, and brute force Telnet” which establishes a permanent denial of service. In addition to the caution, it has also pointed out that there are two versions of the BrickerBot, namely: BrickerBot 1 and BrickerBot 2, which uses ‘Telnet brute force’-a similar manipulative pattern of Mirai which is also a malware that breaches victim devices. Moreso, the malware infection infiltrates without traces, thus making it impossible to identify the source of the attack.

According to Radware Researchers, BrickerBot is a malware responsible for the attack of Permanent Denial of Service (PDOS) which tends to terminate the infected devices. The PDOS is however known as “phlashing.” It is a form of attack that damages a system so badly that repairing the device would require either a replacement or reinstallation of hardware. This type of cyber attack is capable of destroying the firmware and impeding the basic functions of a system by taking advantage of a possible failing or misconfiguration present in the system.

This malware was coined BrickerBot by Pascal Geenens, a researcher of Radware, not because he discovered it, but because it bricks (not allowing the device to function properly) any IoT devices, unlike the Mirai that tend to subjugate IoT devices.

When it affects a device, the device user might not know they have become a victim of malware. Their device would seize to function and what comes to mind is to think they had purchased faulty hardware or the hardware has failed. The BrickerBot malware functions as the Mirai when it affects IoT devices. A victim may even reboot the device to remove device infection which is a remedy obtainable to Mirai infection. But if the infection of the IoT device is of BrickBot then the malware bricks the infected.

According to Radware, the Brickerbot malware is utilized by cyber criminals or hackers to attack IoT devices, thereby making the gadget unusable. When they gain access to these unprotected devices, the Brickerbot malware corrupts the storage of the gadgets and make them unable to work properly.

To this end, the Homeland Security’s Cyber Emergency Response Team (CERT) emphasizes the significance of changing the default credentials and disabling telnet of IoT gadgets as well as securing home routers to keep hackers out.

How to Protect your Iot Gadgets

  •       Being careful with routers is essential because routers can be hijacked to execute illegal practices like DDoS or PDoS attacks. One may not be aware that one’s router is compromised and is being used for disreputable deeds.
  •       Being preventive by checking one’s router for new firmware as needed because if the router is not are not updated regularly, the malware attack could be looming.
  •       Bringing your router’s firmware up-to-date is not complicated. The procedure exists on your router, as simple as accessing your admin page through a browser and simply typing the router’s default IP address of your particular router in your browser’s address bar along with your password (Be sure to change the default router password, if you haven’t already!)

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