Saposhi: Threat of new malware looms over cyberspace

Cybersecurity agencies have detected a new malware called Saposhi that can take over electronic devices and use them for Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Saposhi Malware is capable of taking over electronic devices and turning them into bots (device taken over by malware) which can then be used for any purpose, including DDoS attacks which, with enough firepower, can cripple entire industries.

Key Facts

Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), a Central government body that deals with cyberattacks has so far has not issued any alert regarding Saposhi malware. Saposhi is similar in its intensity to Reaper malware, which was taking over millions of devices at rate of 10,000 devices per day. In October 2017, CERT had issued alert about Reaper which is highly evolved malware capable of hacking devices like Wi-Fi routers and security cameras and also hiding its own presence in bot.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks

In DDoS attacks, malware first creates network of bots — called botnet and then uses botnet to ping single server beyond its capacity at same time. As number of pings are far beyond server’s capacity, server crashes and denies service to its consumers. Malwares like Saposhi, Reaper and Mirai are primarily are used for DDoS attacks.

For example, if large botnet attacks server of fleet cab provider, its server will crash, and scores of consumers will be unable to avail of its services, causing chaos in daily commuting as well as massive losses to the company.

Recent DDoS attacks

In July 2016, small and medium internet service providers in Maharashtra had fallen prey to DDoS attack, which had caused disruption in services of several Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in state. Mirai malware using botnet of 5 lakh devices, had caused servers of Dyn, a leading domain name service provider, to crash, affecting services of popular websites like Netflix, Twitter and Reddit.

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Categories: Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2018

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