Cyber police warn against virus attack

The Asian Age.

Metros, Mumbai

If any such activity is detected, the user is advised to do a factory reset of the device.

The ‘Reaper’ virus is yet to attack India.

Mumbai: In a preventive measure, Maharashtra’s cyber cell department issued an advisory on Thursday, giving out tips on the precautions to take against a worldwide virtual attack from the ‘Reaper’ virus. Even though the virus is yet to attack India, it has asked Internet users to keep updating their application and devices, and watch out for any abnormal activity on the device. If any such activity is detected, the user is advised to do a factory reset of the device.

The ‘Reaper’ virus is a collection of internet-connected devices that uses advance brute forcing and hacking techniques to break into multimedia devices, such as wireless IP cameras and routers that are not properly secured, including weak or default password protection. Hackers are using pre-set list of modules as well as programmes that search for vulnerabilities in multimedia devices.

Hence, the advisory has been issued to make netizens and people aware of the virus. It has also asked people to safeguard their network by setting up a strong firewall that protects network-connected devices from brute force attacks. Strong and different passwords are also advised to keep hackers at bay. In the advisory, Maharashtra IG Police( cyber) of Maharashtra, Brijesh Singh said, “In case any abnormal activity is suspected in your device, you may consider deleting the malware by a factory reset.”

Last year, another virus named ‘Mirai’ broke targeted devices by guessing their ‘admin passwords.’ However, Reaper is using an advanced version of Mirai’s code to exploit known security vulnerabilities and then look for other devices for further spreading the infection. Thus, Reaper is recruiting multimedia devices and spreading continuously and has possibilities of a potential distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack like its predecessor, Mirai.