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Security, Internet of Things (IoT), and Mirai Malware


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Last month a large scale attack was launched against a major Domain Name Service (DNS) provider. This attack prevented users across the planet from accessing several major web and Internet services and companies. The attack was performed using Internet connected devices, primarily in this instance Digital Video Recorders (DVR) and network attached cameras.

There is a write up by the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT). The source code for these attacks were publicly released, so vulnerable equipment will continue to be further compromised. One of the important things to note that is not covered by this article, is that compromised systems, such as cameras can not only be used to launch an attack against commercial and government entities, but these compromised devices can also be turned off, monitored, and manipulated causing a direct impediment to your own personal security, especially when cameras and routers are involved.

There are several things you can do to help mitigate your Internet devices from being compromised:

  • Change the default passwords, and ensure the presence of passwords of all devices attached to your network. This includes wireless routers, cameras, TV and Stereo equipment, Network Attached Storage (NAS), medical equipment, printers, and computers.
  • Update the firmware on all devices to reduce the risk of exposure to known vulnerabilities.
  • Prevent devices that don't need to access the Internet from accessing the Internet by creating rules on your router or firewall.
  • Permit devices that only need access to the Internet for updates from access the Internet except when updating.
  • Disable Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) on your router.

In the event any of your devices have been compromised, or if you are concerned they may have been compromised because they have been running old firmware and / or are using default passwords, there are a number of steps you can take:

  1. Disconnect the device from your network.
  2. While disconnected, reboot the device. This will clear Mirai malware, as Mirai runs only in volatile, dynamic memory. (Devices such as routers can be compromised in other ways, and if you have had default passwords for a while on some of these devices, you may want to perform an update of the firmware while disconnected.)
  3. Change the password for the device from its default to a strong password.
  4. Reconnect the device again after rebooting it and changing its password. Verify its functionality.

If you would like any assistance, Inspired Solutions has extensive experience in computer, networking, server, and security systems that allows us to provide a wide range of services and solutions to address all your technology needs. Over 30 years of experience with managing and coding for Apple Macs, over 25 years with both Microsoft Windows and Linux/UNIX, and 20 years with network and security systems. We have provided services to clients ranging from home and home office to global Fortune 10 companies. We offer comprehensive services for computer and laptop systems, mobile and tablets (both iPhone/iPad and Google Android), wireless and wired networking, home theater systems, and server services including email, web and DNS hosting.

We are also now offering VPN services to connect your devices securely to the Internet and terminate in the United States for when other VPN providers may no longer work with web content services you may use.

Now through the end of the year, receive a 20% discount on our hourly rate of $50, so you can have any of these services for only $40 an hour.

Inspired Solutions
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