Report: Mirai tries to wrap its tentacles around SD-WAN

Mirai – the software that has hijacked hundreds of thousands of internet-connected devices to launch massive DDoS attacks – now goes beyond recruiting just IoT products; it also includes code that seeks to exploit a vulnerability in corporate SD-WAN gear.

That specific equipment – VMware’s SDX line of SD-WAN appliances – now has an updated software version that fixes the vulnerability, but by targeting it Mirai’s authors show that they now look beyond enlisting security cameras and set-top boxes and seek out any vulnerable connected devices, including enterprise networking gear.

“I assume we’re going to see Mirai just collecting as many devices as it can,” said Jen Miller-Osborn, deputy director of threat research at Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42, which recently issued a report about Mirai.

Exploiting SD-WAN gear is new

While the exploit against the SD-WAN appliances was a departure for Mirai, it doesn’t represent a sea-change in the way its authors are approaching their work, according Miller-Osborn.

The idea, she said, is simply to add any devices to the botnet, regardless of what they are. The fact that SD-WAN devices were targeted is more about those particular devices having a vulnerability than anything to do with their SD-WAN capabilities.

Responsible disclosure headed off execution of exploits

The vulnerability itself was discovered last year by independent researchers who responsibly disclosed it to VMware, which then fixed it in a later software version. But the means to exploit the weakness nevertheless is included in a recently discovered new variant of Mirai, according to the Unit 42 report.

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