What Is Silex Malware And How Does It Work 2021 – Have you ever thought what if the Google Home you are using suddenly plays a song at full volume without your command? Maybe you can turn it off and assume it’s just a hardware failure.
What Is Silex Malware And How Does It Work Explained 2021
But considering the news that new malware appeared and damaged 1000’s of IoT gadgets, it might be a warning that your Google Home was hacked by hackers and now, your Google Home is just following his orders!
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IoT devices are a major part of life in this day and age. From activity trackers to home security cameras, these advanced technologies are changing the way we live our lives. But IoT devices are connected to the internet and anything connected to the internet can be hacked.
Recently, a 14-year-old hacker created a new type of malware and named it Silex malware. This Silex malware damages IoT devices. It has created over 4000 IoT devices in just a few hours.
Although another malware called Bricker Bot destroyed millions of IoT devices in 2017, with the emergence of the Silex malware, the world was shocked.
Compared to other hackable things, IoT devices have a very weak security margin. They are protected only with a password which is often left at the default settings.
Hackers can easily deal with it by performing a brute force attack. The reason why IoT devices lack security is that they are less aware of the risks and manufacturers are lazy to do so.
So, today we are going to learn about Silex malware and how one can avoid it.
What is Silex Malware?
According to ZDNet, the Silex malware was created by a 14-year-old hacker named Light Leafon. As soon as he released the malware, it had affected thousands of IoT devices and no one could find it expecting Larry Cashdollar who is a security exploit researcher.
According to Cashdollar, the Silex malware uses the default credentials of IoT devices to enter and destroy systems. He added that Silex initially affected 350 devices and then spread to thousands of devices.
How Does Silex Malware Work?
Cashdollar says that the way the silex malware works use default credentials to log into IoT devices. But to retrieve the credentials, the malware first corrupts the IoT device storage then drops the firewall rules, and finally deletes the network configuration.
Silex malware is so powerful that when an IoT device is affected, it is impossible to recover. However, by manually reinstalling the device firmware, one can recover the infected IoT device.
Is Silex Malware Like Other Malware?
Between April and December 2017, malware called Bricker Bot destroyed more than 10 million IoT devices and the same malware inspired the Silex malware to appear in 2019.
The creator of the Bricker Bot malware is known by the pseudonym Janitor. He created the Bricker Bot and spread it to protest smart device owners. However, like Janitor, Light Leafon has not stated the motive behind this Silex malware.
How To Protect IoT Devices From Silex Malware?
Silex malware infects your IoT device by guessing your device username and password and since the Silex malware is fairly new, it will take some time to get a fixed update on your smart device from the company. So, what can you do now?
According to Jesse Irwin, a former employee of password management app 1Password, as soon as you buy a device that comes with hard-coded credentials, change the default password and username as quickly as possible.
By doing so, you make it difficult for Silex malware to find out the credentials of your smart device. But actually, here it is worth mentioning that manufacturers are more responsible for stopping such cyber attacks than users.
In 2018, the California government banned the manufacture of hardware with predictable login credentials such as “password” and “12345”. The government also enforced the rule, saying IoT device manufacturers should encourage users to change default passwords.
The majority of manufacturers use Linux operating system to run the device. But unfortunately, it doesn’t really offer a secure environment like a custom-built operating system.
Just because it’s cheaper and manufacturers don’t need to develop a special operating system, they don’t think about making an operating system specifically for IoT devices. Moreover, they never release updates for IoT devices and this becomes an easy target for hackers.
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Hackers are everywhere and devices with less security are easy targets for them. So, it is recommended for users to create a more secure online environment. And manufacturers should urgently develop secure IoT devices and spread awareness regarding hacking among users.
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