Press Release

WootCloud Labs Announces Research Initiative to Help OpenSource and Larger IoT Community Identify IoT Vulnerabilities before they occur.

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (RSA Conference) March 5, 2019 – WootCloud, an innovative IoT cybersecurity company, today officially announced a global research initiative to help the OpenSource and the IoT community at-large identify IoT cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

As part of this initiative, WootCloud Labs, the research division of WootCloud, is addressing a mission critical need for businesses worldwide. Using Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Neural Network technology, WootCloud Labs is conducting highly detailed research and analysis to identify IoT (Internet of Things) threats that have historically gone undetected. WootCloud Labs is committed to working with IoT organizations and companies, via responsible disclosure, to alert the wider IoT community of these vulnerabilities with the goal of preventing attacks before they occur.

The number of IoT connected devices will number 38.5 billion in 2020 and spending on IoT cybersecurity solutions is set to reach over $6 billion globally by 2023 according to Juniper Research.

With a mission to help enterprises and security firms get ahead of and detect new threats that exist in the rapidly expanding IoT ecosystem, WootCloud Labs has identified and ethically disclosed numerous new threats over the past year. These include the following:

  • The presence of three new botnet families on Polycom HDX systems, both mimicking the behavior of the Mirai botnet. The malware families are a version of the Bushido and Hades Bots. WootCloud Labs detected the infections in the Asia region. A number of Polycom devices were found to be running the discovered bots, which performed brute-force and password cracking operations from the device via the telnet interface. APIs supported by Polycom devices are abused by the attackers for performing unauthorized operations on the device.
  • The OMNI botnet, which harnesses the power of open open-source software packages such as “BusyBox,” WGet” and others that shipped with the embedded firmware of the Polycom devices. OMNI bypasses the various authentication mechanisms and enables a complete takeover of the target device. It also enables the attackers to launch brute-force attacks and DDoS attacks and allow conferencing systems to act as proxy devices for routing malicious communications such as Command and Control (C&C).
  • More than 200,000 Cisco routers running with exposed web administrative panels. Exposed routers could become potential targets for malware authors to compromise these devices and use the same for forming botnets. Compromised routers can be used for building botnets to trigger unauthorized operations such as launching brute-force attacks, bitcoin mining, building hidden proxy tunnels, and many others. WootCloud Labs’ research reflected the risk of allowing administrative web consoles to be exposed on the Internet, as they can be accessible by remote users without any restriction.

“With so many smart devices available in the wild, device sprawl is rampant and creates an environment that is becoming more and more inviting for attackers,” said Srinivas Akella, founder and CTO of WootCloud. “At WootCloud Labs our goal is to deliver actionable insights to the IoT community, empowering businesses with the information they need to get ahead and stay ahead of a wide range of vulnerabilities, exposures and exploits. We are looking forward to continuing to collaborate with organizations to deliver research and analysis around a wide variety of impending threats.”

 “In a climate where more than half of organizations have no good control over or have an inaccurate assessment of devices available on their network, there is an urgent need to proactively identify and manage “dark devices” in a more effective way,” added Akella. “We are committed to developing solutions and insights that will continue to address this demand.”

About WootCloud Labs

WootCloud Labs, the research division of WootCloud, uses Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Neural Network technology to identify cybersecurity threats worldwide on the vast number of IoT devices that are active on enterprise networks. According to research reports, 40 percent of devices that access an enterprise network are invisible to current tools. To combat this challenge, WootCloud Labs’ vision is to collaborate with businesses to identify threats on these devices, responsibly and ethically communicate these to end users, and offer suggested countermeasures to prevent attacks.

About WootCloud

WootCloud is the only enterprise IoT security solution provider to leverage both the radio and network characteristics to neutralize IoT threats. WootCloud’s unique platform empowers security and IT teams to identify both managed and unmanaged devices and proactively control access. The company’s scalable, agentless deployment capabilities, covering 100 percent of a network, enables actionable insights to detect behavioral anomalies faster at a lower cost. WootCloud was one of the select companies to win the prestigious 2017 Tie Silicon Valley Top 50 Startups Award. A privately held company, WootCloud is headquartered in San Jose, California, with offices in India and Argentina. 

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Media Contact:

Andrea Corry
TopMind PR
(925) 640-5482

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