A new threat looms large on the horizon of cyberspace. After Mirai and Reaper, cybersecurity agencies have detected a new malware called Saposhi, which is similar in its intensity to Reaper and is capable of taking over electronic devices and turning them into ‘bots’ (device taken over by malware), which can then be used for any purpose, including a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack which, with enough firepower, can cripple entire industries. It has the capability of taking over millions of device at the rate of 10,000 devices per day.
A senior cyberpolice officer told The Hindu that Saposhi was detected around 15 days ago, and is currently being watched and studied.
“Saposhi is similar in its intensity to Reaper, which was taking over millions of devices at the rate of 10,000 devices per day. Various cybersecurity agencies are currently keeping tabs on it to get a better idea of what it is capable of,” he said.
Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), a Central government body that deals with cyber attacks have so far has not issued any alert regarding Saposhi malware.
In October 2017, CERT had issued alert about Reaper which is highly evolved malware capable of hacking devices like Wi-Fi routers and security cameras and also hiding its own presence in the bot — a device taken over by a malware.
Saposhi is aimed at DDoS attack by creating a botnet (Network of Bots) which is used to ping a single server beyond its capacity at the same time. As the number of pings is far beyond server’s capacity, server crashes and denies service to its consumers. Malware like Saposhi, Reaper and Mirai are primarily used for DDoS attacks.
DDoS attacks have been carried out by diverse threat actors, ranging from individual criminal hackers to organized crime rings and government agencies.