When the source code for the Mirai botnet was made public in late September, a top concern was that bad actors might modify the code to increase the number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices they can compromise. It seems these fears have been realized.

A few weeks ago, Reverse Engineering Blog disclosed a vulnerability in the Eir D1000 modem that could enable a remote attacker to take control of an affected device. Devices can be compromised remotely using Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) port 7547. It didn’t take long for malicious actors to modify the Mirai botnet source code to exploit this vulnerability.

This past weekend, customers of Deutsche Telekom were targeted in a worldwide attack. While the company reported that the attack largely failed to compromise the targeted devices, it did cause problems for some 900,000 customers. Deutsche Telekom made updates to mitigate the vulnerability.

Port 7547 Scanning Is Sky High

Below is a screenshot of the port metric data from our Nov. 28 edition of the IBM X-Force Hosted Threat Analysis Service client newsletter. The graphic highlights the top five most commonly used ports over a 24-hour period. Not even a blip on our radar last week, scanning for vulnerable devices on TCP port 7547 has appeared to suddenly ramp up over last weekend.

As of Nov. 29, the number of packets observed by TCP port 7547 remained high, second only to TCP port 23 (Telnet), which, along with TCP port 2323, Mirai has historically used to compromise vulnerable IoT devices.

Additionally, data from IBM Managed Security Services’ (MSS) globally deployed sensors showed that at least one of the IP addresses known to be associated with this attack has been sequentially crawling the internet address space.

The SANS Internet Storm Center (ISC) port metrics showed a similar story, with a major uptick in port 7547 occurring on Nov. 26. It also provided additional information on the attacks, including indicators of compromise (IOCs) such as the following hashes of the binary files used in the attacks:


Mitigating Mirai

Although Mirai has been out of the news lately, it has not gone away. If the cybergang behind the attacks is able to increase the number of devices in the Mirai botnets, we may be reading plenty about it soon.

Apply software updates as soon as possible to mitigate the threat of exploitation and embrace security best practices to prevent your IoT devices from becoming part of a massive botnet. You can also track the development of this threat by visiting the Mirai Botnet Activity collection on IBM X-Force Exchange.

Read the IBM X-Force Report: The Inside Story on Botnets

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