Lizard Squad has been fighting The White Team to control its 150,000 Home Router botnets
The infamous band of hackers, Lizard Squad is having a really bad time. A unknown group of white hat hackers is destroying their key DDoS ingredient, the botnets by taking them over.
The white hat hackers, dubbed as The White Team, who were responsible for creating the Linux.Wifatch malware last October have once aggain made headlines by compromising more than 70,000 home routers and apparently forcing their owners to make them secure against faults and weak passwords.
The White Team is now planning to take over Lizard Squad’s botnet of infected IoT devices in an attempt to shut down their operations by building up a sizeable botnet consisting of hundreds of thousands of home routers, but for a good purpose though.
Due to countless insecure and improperly designed and configured smart devices, hacking crews are finding that abusing zero-days and vulnerabilities discovered in IoT equipment allows them to build bigger botnets at a much faster pace than by targeting regular PCs.
This is exactly how the infamous Lizard Squad, responsible for numerous Microsoft Xbox Live and Sony PlayStation Network outages uses their botnets to launch DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks against target websites to flood them with traffic and knock them offline. Lizard Squad is now selling access to some of its machines via its online subscription service called Lizard Stresser.
While in past years hackers depended upon malware that infected desktop PCs to create a bot network to use in DDoS attacks, this changed with the rise of smart IoT devices.
It’s for this reason that, last October, a team of anonymous security researchers teamed up to create The White Team, the Internet’s vigilante white hat hackers and later put together a malware family called Linux.Wifatch. Linux.Wifatch infected routers of many companies and then also boosted their security measures.
The malware, first discovered in November 2014 by an independent malware researcher “Loot Myself” and analysed by Symantec last year, now includes more programs to remove other malicious software and backdoors already on the system.
According to Symantec, who is continuously watching over the team’s botnet, the White Team has access to around 70,000 devices. The White Team has now plans on using their botnet to protect between 150,000 and 200,000 devices from Lizard Squad attacks, thereby removing the rogue gang from people’s homes.
However, the team of vigilante hackers face some hurdles, especially when working with the Wifatch malware, which is often too big to install on smaller routers.
The hacker collective said to Forbes over encrypted email: “The goal is to use (most) of the 60,000 nodes we have to connect to the hundreds of thousands of boxes that are too small for our normal disinfector and disinfect them remotely.”
These vigilante hackers aren’t answer to this widespread problem since there are so many vulnerable devices that can be hacked with minimal or no effort. They can only help reduce the issue.
The White Team is not the only team of vigilante hackers trying to secure the Internet. Just last week, a hacker replaced a malware with antivirus software. An anonymous hacker was found replacing Dridex, the most active banking malware, with the copies of Avira security software.
Besides the 2015 arrests that crippled the original Lizard Squad hacking crew, many are also hoping that someday, the White team will put an end to the botnets of Lizard squad.