In addition to the rise in botnet-driven DDoS attacks, the Threat Intelligence Report highlights a doubling in the number of trojans targeting personal banking information on mobile devices, now accounting for 9% of all infections.
A recent report from Nokia’s Threat Intelligence Center sheds light on the alarming rise of IoT botnet DDoS attacks targeting telecom networks worldwide. The study reveals a fivefold increase in such attacks over the past year, with cybercriminals exploiting insecure IoT devices and profit-driven hacking collectives.
This surge in malicious activity initially observed during the Russia-Ukraine conflict, has now spread to various regions globally, jeopardizing critical infrastructure and services beyond telecom networks.
The proliferation of IoT devices among consumers has contributed significantly to the escalation of botnet-driven DDoS attacks. The number of compromised IoT devices used in these attacks has soared from 200,000 to approximately 1 million, currently accounting for more than 40% of all DDoS traffic.
The report underscores that this rise in attacks stems from the growing number of profit-driven hacking collectives, taking advantage of the Ukraine crisis.
A prevalent form of malware in telecommunication networks is bot malware, which scans for vulnerable devices—a tactic associated with multiple IoT botnets. With lax security measures prevalent in billions of IoT devices worldwide, encompassing everything from smart refrigerators to medical sensors and smartwatches, cybercriminals have found ample targets to exploit.
In addition to the rise in botnet-driven DDoS attacks, the Threat Intelligence Report highlights a doubling in the number of trojans targeting personal banking information on mobile devices, now accounting for 9% of all infections. This puts millions of users worldwide at heightened risk of having their financial and credit card details compromised. Trojans are malicious software codes that disguise themselves as legitimate applications.
On a positive note, the report reveals a decline in malware infections within home networks. Following a peak of 3% during the Covid-19 pandemic, the infection rate dropped to 1.5%, approaching the pre-pandemic level of 1%. This reduction can be attributed to the decline in malware campaigns targeting remote workers as people transition back to office environments.
The findings presented in the report are based on data collected from over 200 million devices globally, utilizing Nokia’s NetGuard Endpoint Security product to monitor network traffic.
The Threat Intelligence Center in Canada, Nokia Cyber Security Center in France, Nokia Security Operations Center in India, and Nokia Deepfield, specializing in network analytics and DDoS security, contributed their expertise to compile this comprehensive report.
Addressing the report’s findings, Hamdy Farid, Senior Vice President of Business Applications at Nokia, emphasized the urgent need for robust security measures in 5G networks. Farid highlighted the importance of telco-centric threat detection and response, along with the implementation of rigorous security practices and awareness at all levels of organizations, including service providers, vendors, and regulators.
The alarming surge in IoT botnet attacks serves as a wake-up call for the global telecommunications industry to bolster their security measures and collaborate closely to protect network integrity and ensure the safety of millions of users worldwide.