Nokia report warns 5G will make IoT botnets worse

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Nokia’s latest Threat Intelligence Report warns the arrival of 5G will build even further on this year’s record number of IoT botnet attacks.

IoT botnets represented 78 percent of malware detection events in communication service provider networks in 2018, more than double the 2016 rate.

5G is expected to increase the pace of IoT deployments; providing a greater number of compromisable devices.

Kevin McNamee, Director of Nokia's Threat Intelligence Lab, said:

"Cybercriminals are switching gears from the traditional computer and smartphone ecosystems and now targeting the growing number of vulnerable IoT devices that are being deployed.

You have thousands of IoT device manufacturers wanting to move product fast to market and, unfortunately, security is often an afterthought."

A separate report from Trend Micro released this week found top IoT standards are ‘fragile’ in terms of security. The combination of poor security with a greater number of devices is a recipe for disaster.

We’ve already seen unprecedented botnet attacks. The most notable, of course, was the Mirai botnet in 2016 when over 100,000 compromised devices flooded Dyn with a record-breaking amount of traffic — reportedly in the region of 1.2Tbps.

The 2016 Mirai botnet attack could soon be dwarfed.

"Cybercriminals have increasingly smart tools to scan for and to quickly exploit vulnerable devices, and they have new tools for spreading their malware and bypassing firewalls,” said McNamee.

“If a vulnerable device is deployed on the internet, it will be exploited in a matter of minutes."

You can find the full Nokia Threat Intelligence 2019 report here.

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