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Wednesday, 25 July 2018 09:36

Hide 'N Seek IoT botnet widens range of exploits


An Internet-of-Things botnet that initially targeted routers, IP cameras and DVRs, has now spread its wings to cross-platform database solutions and home devices, the security firm Fortinet claims.

Known as Hide 'N Seek, the botnet is built partly out of source code from the better-known Mirai botnet and gets some ideas from it, according to Fortinet's FortiGuard Lion Team researchers Rommel Joven, Kenny Yang and David Maciejak.

The ability to use various exploits had been added at various points in time, the trio said, with HNS having been first spotted in January this year.

Some of their findings were:

  • The first HNS sample only used two exploits.
  • From April onwards, HNS has been gradually adding exploits to its arsenal one at a time. HNS authors are careful to make sure that the version released is stable enough before embedding more exploits.
  • Each time a new exploit is added the Xor key for the configuration table is also changed
  • The latest added exploit to be added is HomeMatic Zentrale CCU2 RCE.
  • In less than a week after the PoC was published of the Apache CouchDB RCE and HomeMatic Zentrale CCU2 RCE vulnerabilities, HNS was quickly to implement them into its code.
  • The latest HNS sample uses nine exploits.

"The latest device to be targeted by HNS is from Homematic, a provider of Smart Home devices from the German manufacturer eQ-3," the trio wrote.

hns exploits

The exploit summary for HNS.

"The targeted device is the HomeMatic Zentrale CCU2. This is the central element of the HomeMatic system that provides a wide range of control, monitoring, and configuration options for all HomeMatic devices. This may be the moment when malware starts hacking your house."

They said with this new understanding of the malware's workings, they expected the next iterations to include more functionality and also target more exploits.

Graphic: courtesy Fortinet


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.



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