Alert: Kaspersky detects first Windows-based Mirai botnet

By: Costea Lestoc
2 minute read

IoT-dependent companies are now facing an unprecedented situation. Evidence suggests that a new Mirai malware spreader has surfaced with roots in Microsoft’s Windows operating system. An investigation is currently underway and Kaspersky Lab is on the job.

It would seem, however, that the creators of the Mirai malware are not the ones spreading this new threat. Instead, this new threat is actually a lot more advanced than the original Mirai. According to Kaspersky, those concerned about Mirai-based threats shouldn’t take this lightly as the occurrence can have a huge negative impact.

Mirai removal tool

Kaspersky Lab officially shared some of their discoveries and theories on the situation, and it doesn’t look too good for anyone at this point, with the scariest part being the uncertainty of what its specific ramifications are. Their team’s principal security researcher, Kurt Baumgartner, went on to say:

The appearance of a Mirai crossover between the Linux platform and the Windows platform is a real concern, as is the arrival on the scene of more experienced developers.

A Windows botnet spreading IoT Mirai bots turns a corner and enables the spread of Mirai to newly available devices and networks that were previously unavailable to Mirai operators. This is only the beginning.

The new Mirai botnet

What is it about the new Mirai-based threat that has people so worried? First, it’s designed to forcefully make its way from the malware-infested host to another potential victim. It would seem that it can only make the transition from a Windows base to a Linux platform and that many of the components found in its codebase are pretty old. Despite that, it has potent characteristics in a richer codebase and more “sturdiness”.

Mirai malware creators

As far as investigators are able to tell, the creator of this new threat is a newcomer to the Mirai malware scene who speaks Chinese. That, however, doesn’t take away from the fact that they are much more experienced. The situation will evolve going forward and as Kaspersky Lab or other organizations will get a better understanding of this new threat, people will start thinking of solutions.

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