Because Internet of Things (IoT) devices have almost no security, many cybercriminals saw an opportunity in this and developed new malware for them. One of them is Mirai that is used to launched massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. The result of this was a project named Internet Chemotherapy a.k.a BrickerBot. Its author is The Janit0r, a.k.a. The Doctor and it is using the BrickerBot to brick IoT devices. Thanks to BrickerBot almost 10 million devices had suffered permanent damage because the BrickerBot had overwritten the firmware of the IoT devices he targeted.
BrickerBot it is used nobly to clear the internet of poorly secured IoT devices. However noble the intention, gaining unauthorized access to devices and making them unusable, is illegal, and it does not represent the work of ethical researchers.
The Janit0r motivates its action by saying this “Bad guys are getting more sophisticated, the number of potentially vulnerable devices keep increasing, and it’s only a matter of time before a large-scale Internet-disrupting event will occur.”
For now, the Janit0r claims to have disabled more than 10 million vulnerable IoT devices, and this is only an insignificant part of the IoT because the number of IoT devices exceed 8.4 billion.
The Janit0r’s first used BrickerBot to disrupt the Deutsche Telekom in November 2016, and he did this to temporarily removed Deutsche Telekom devices from further infection by Mirai.
Since its first attack, the BrickerBot was used to clear the IoT of unsecured devices. This December the
Janit0r announced his or her retirement.
The Janit0r has done a good thing by decreasing the available devices that could be used to launch unwanted attacks. However, the methodology and practice adopted by the Internet Chemotherapy project are unquestionably illegal.
We do not encourage such vigilante acts, but they will be present until companies and users start to understand the role of the cybersecurity and how vital it is for the cyberspace. We strongly recommend to protect with a cybersecurity solution every device that you own, to have your data and privacy secured and safe.
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Most of the companies don't care about cybersecurity until they suffer a breach.
A healthy company must perform a penetration test from time to time. The penetration test must execute against all the assets of the company, including the workers who are the most vulnerable to the social engineering attacks.
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