Security Week 36: Telnet should be closed
Telnet is a very old protocol. Wikipedia reports that it was developed in 196? for many years it was actively used for remote access to computers and servers, both under Unix /Linux and for systems under Windows (telnet could be included in Windows NT and in Windows 2000). The same Wikipedia reports that the use of Telnet has gradually disappeared in favor of a more secure SSH protocol. And it happened, not counting millions of autonomous network devices - basically routers and IP cameras, which "answer" for this protocol, often without the owner's knowledge.
Two weeks ago we discussed vulnerabilities in routers. Mikrotik . But that vulnerability - there is still something to crack. Published last week study Kaspersky Lab shows that the majority (three quarters) of all attacks on IoT devices are attacks on the Telnet protocol. If your device is responsible for this protocol, especially if it is available from the Internet - think about whether it's time to stop it. The exception is only one: if you are broadcasting via Telnet " Star Wars ".
caught , but its source code was placed in open access, so that the capture of those responsible for the outbreak of the epidemic in 2016 could not prevent further attacks. More information about Mirai can be read here , but the picture below clearly shows which sets of login-password the botnet is trying to expand.
For these pairs it is possible to identify a vulnerable device: IP camera, set-top box, digital video recorder, network printer and so on. There is a certain competition between the creators of botnets: hence the large number of requests to any devices that accept them via Telnet or SSH protocols, and the tendency to change the password after a successful attack - otherwise the next will try to install its monitoring software on the device.
By country, "attackers" are distributed like this. In the first place, Brazil, a country that has already been mentioned in the news about IoT-botnets. In total, "hanipot" recorded 12 million attacks with 8?560 unique IP-addresses, another 27 thousand IP participated in the distribution of malicious software. Interestingly, the number of attacking IPs was much less than the total number of infected devices. Explanations here can be several: finding infected devices for NAT, use for attacks only a small part of the botnet or something else. As it usually happens, monitoring the actions of cybercriminals gives only part of the overall picture.
You can evaluate the power of the botnet when it is used for its intended purpose. In 201? the attack power on the DNS provider Dyn has exceeded 1 terabit per second, it was produced with more than 10?000 botnets controlled by the Mirai botnet. However, Kaspersky Lab experts rightly point out that "paradise life" with millions of devices that are closed only with the default password will eventually end. The next step is still the exploitation of vulnerabilities in IoT-devices, which does not require the presence of a default password. Such more complex attacks can be carried out by the Reaper botnet.
Here are some examples of vulnerabilities given: obtaining full control above the routers D-Link 850L; IP-cameras with features " direct access "From the outside by serial number with a further password brute force; a video surveillance system with access to the simplest and an easily forged cookie.
But this is all in the future, but for now the tablet above makes it clear that more than 90% of attacks on IoT is a banal brute force. Vulnerabilities are still not required . I will not even talk about specialized administration interfaces, but in the report and about them a lot is written .
This is some kind of complete lack of basic remedies. Twenty years ago it was in the order of things to connect to the mail server via an unprotected POP3 protocol, pass the passwords to the messenger server in clear. The Internet was young and naive. Now to produce devices with such an attitude to safety - well, if you put it very gently, short-sighted. What to do? First of all, do not make IoT-devices accessible from the network. VPN all to help. Of course, this advice is useless for those with an IP camera, and there is no idea of what Telnet and VPN are.
Is it worth it to hope that manufacturers will gradually improve the safety of IoT devices? This will not cancel the availability of millions of known vulnerable products in the network, which, unlike smartphones and laptops, are not updated for years. And everything is so bad that the well-known cryptographer Bruce Schneier called for state regulation of the industry - well, what is perceived with hostility against the actual cryptography. Are there any other ways? Not very clear.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this digest may not always coincide with the official position of Kaspersky Lab. Dear editorial staff generally recommends that you treat any opinions with healthy skepticism.
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