IoT Botnet DDoS Attacks

How IoT Botnet DDoS Attacks Are Endangering Global Telecom Networks

Rise of IoT Botnet DDoS Attacks – Recent report from Nokia’s Threat Intelligence Center revealed a staggering fivefold increase in IoT botnet DDoS attacks targeting telecom networks worldwide.

The report claimed that IoT botnet DDoS traffic increased since the Russia-Ukraine war and stems from the growing number of profit-driven hacking collectives run by cybercriminals.

The report was compiled using the data collected from over 200 million devices globally by monitoring network traffic with Nokia’s NetGuard Endpoint Security solution.

The Escalating Threat: Exploiting Insecure IoT Devices

The increase of IoT devices among consumers has considerably contributed to the rise of botnet-driven DDoS attacks.

Based on the report’s findings, compromised IoT devices used in these attacks have increased from 200,000 to about 1 million, currently accounting for more than 40% of total DDoS traffic.

Cybercriminals have found ample targets to exploit due to the lax security measures prevalent in billions of IoT devices worldwide.

IoT Botnet DDoS Attacks
Botnet attacks as a percentage of all DDoS attacks (Source: Nokia’s report 2023)

Bot Malware and Vulnerable Devices

According to the report, Bot Malware is the most common type of malware found in telecommunications networks.

This type of malware scans for vulnerable devices, a tactic often associated with multiple IoT botnets.

IoT Botnet DDoS Attacks
Vulnerabilities detected (Source: Nokia’s report 2023)

With lax security measures prevalent in billions of IoT devices worldwide, encompassing everything from smart refrigerators to medical sensors and smartwatches, cybercriminals have found a fertile ground for launching their attacks.

Increasing Trojan Infections on Mobile Devices

The Threat Intelligence Report also highlights a doubling in the number of trojans targeting personal banking information on mobile devices

These trojans, which disguise themselves as legitimate applications, now account for 9% of all infections.

This puts millions of users worldwide at an elevated risk of having their financial and credit card details compromised.

A decline in Home Network Malware Infections

However, there is a glimmer of positive news amidst these concerning findings.

According to the survey, malware attacks in home networks are decreasing.

Following a peak of 3% during the Covid-19 pandemic, the infection rate has dropped to 1.5%, approaching the pre-pandemic level of 1%.

This reduction can be attributed to the decline in malware campaigns targeting remote workers as people now transition back to office environments.

Urgent Need for Robust Security Measures in 5G Networks

While discussing the report’s findings, Hamdy Farid, Senior Vice President of Business Applications at Nokia, emphasized the critical necessity for effective security measures in 5G networks.

He highlighted the importance of telco-centric threat detection and response, along with the implementation of rigorous security practices and awareness at all levels of organizations, including service providers, vendors, and regulators.

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