India must be prepared for HNS botnet attack: Bitdefender

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India must be prepared for HNS botnet attack: Bitdefender

New Delhi: 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 cyber security and anti-virus software
company Bitdefender has said.
“A malicious cyber threat in the shape of HNS botnet now hovers 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 effective,” 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 means 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 researchers 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 significantly improved form, the researchers said. “The
HNS botnet communicates in a complex and decentralized 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 botnet 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.