India must be prepared for HNS botnet attack: Bitdefender
After striking major countries across the globe, malicious cyber threat “Hide and Seek ”
(HNS) can hit India a severe blow and the country must be prepared to tackle the cyber
attack, a senior executive from Romanian cybersecurity and anti -virus software company
Bitdefender has said.
“A malicious cyber threat in the shape of HNS botnet now h overs above the ginormous
cyber network of India. While the world still healing from the scars of ransomware cyber –
attack, we cannot aord to conjure any other of such attack with such tiny or no
information — additionally more threatening and eective,” Zakir Hussain, Director, BD
soft, Country Partner of Bitdefender, told IANS.
The botnet now controls 32,312 Internet of Things (IoT) devices globally and seems to
undergo massive development as new samples compiled for a variety of architectures have
been added as payloads. “This menace being hardly traceable, can hit India a severe blow.
Though the latest technology adopted by the governmental departments of India is
sophisticated and safeguarded, ‘prevention is always better than cure’,” Hussain added.
“ When the world is still in a rivalry to ‘Hide and Seek’, India can be one of the countries
on the list and must be prepared,” he added. The emerging botnet, that uses custom -built
peer-to-peer communication to exploit victims, was spotted by security resea rchers at
Bitdefender Labs on January 10 before it disappeared for a few days.
It returned 10 days later on January 20 in a new and signicantly improved form, the
researchers said. “The HNS botnet communicates in a complex and decentralised manner
and uses multiple anti -tampering techniques to prevent a third party from
hijacking/poisoning it. The bot can perform web exploitation against a series of devices,”
Bitdefender researchers wrote in a blog post.
Once a device is infected, hackers behind the botne t can use commands to control it.
However, the researchers noted that like most IoT botnets, HNS cannot establish
persistence on infected devices. With a simple device reboot, the malware can be
automatically removed from the compromised device.