Reports of a scary new threat to your online security called, Reaper, have come out just in time for Halloween. Robert Jorgensen, a Professor at Utah Valley University, joined Brian Carlson to explain what that means for you.
A botnet is a collection of computers or internet connected devices that have been compromised by an attacker to be used for nefarious purposes. Each device is called a zombie, and it basically acts like it should until it is issued commands. These commands can instruct the devices to send spam or even attack other computers.
So, what is Reaper?
It is a name of a new botnet that is currently spreading through the “internet of things”.
Initial estimates of how many computers are in this botnet were in the millions, but now most researchers say it is about 30,000. Right now it doesn’t seem to be doing much of anything but spreading and waiting.
Last year, the Mirai botnet took out Reddit, Netflix, Twitter, and other sites. This one has the potential to do something similar, especially if it takes over more devices.
Jorgensen recommends updating your devices to protect yourself. When getting new devices during Black Friday and while doing other holiday shopping, check to see if there are updates from the manufacturer. If the device has a default password, change it to something unique.