Fixing Your Infected IoT Devices

mirai-botnetThe Mirai and Bashlight botnets have caused quite a stir in the cybersecurity and IT realms.  The easy ability to round up and deploy millions of devices in a botnet using automated tools has raised the bar.  How we respond to DDoS attacks will have to change.

Nevertheless, you can remove your IoT devices from the bot-net and keep them from being reacquired.  Here are some easy solutions:

First, as clever as these exploits are, they exist only in the active memory of the infected devices.  What that means is that simply unplugging or power cycling a device will remove the malware from RAM, and it is game over for your device, at least temporarily.

How do you know if your device is infected?  You don’t, so my recommendation is to power cycle everything.  Simple enough.

This solves your immediate problem, but it still leaves your equipment in a state that can be reinfected.  Permanent solutions include:

  • Identify all your IoT devices.  This may require running a network scanner and some leg-work tracking everything down.
  • Find out how to log into the dashboard of your device, from the manufacturer’s website.
    • Run any software and firmware updates for your devices.  This should be in the same place as the log on instructions.
    • Change the default user name and password.
    • Disable remote management
  • Isolate your IoT devices on a subnet or VLAN separate from your production network.
  • Do not allow IoT devices to connect to the Internet.  This prevents attackers from even finding, much less hijacking, your devices.

I am still dumbfounded with a product development culture here in the US and elsewhere that ignores even the basics of network security in the rush to create a product and deliver it to market.  This must be improved on. We cannot expect non-technical purchasers and users to suffer through these problems, much less be responsible for solving them.


About the Author:

I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at

Add a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.