A massive new botnet, that has already infected the Internet of Things (IoT) devices at an estimated 1-million organisations, is gearing up to create a cyber-storm that could take down the Internet.

Check Point Researchers have discovered of an evolving new botnet that is recruiting IoT devices at a far greater pace and with more potential damage than the Mirai botnet of 2016.

IoT botnets are Internet connected smart devices which have been infected by the same malware and are controlled by a threat actor from a remote location. They have been behind some of the most damaging cyberattacks against organizations worldwide, including hospitals, national transport links, communication companies and political movements.

While some technical aspects lead us to suspect a possible connection to Mirai, this is an entirely new and far more sophisticated campaign that is rapidly spreading worldwide. It is too early to guess the intentions of the threat actors behind it, but with previous botnet DDoS attacks essentially taking down the Internet, organisations are being urged to make proper preparations and put defense mechanisms in place before an attack strikes.

Ominous signs were first picked up via Check Point’s Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) in the last few days of September. An increasing number of attempts were being made by hackers to exploit a combination of vulnerabilities found in various IoT devices.

With each passing day the malware was evolving to exploit an increasing number of vulnerabilities in wireless IP camera devices such as GoAhead, D-Link, TP-Link, AVTech, Netgear, MikroTik, Linksys, Synology and others.

Researchers say it soon became apparent that the attempted attacks were coming from many different sources and a variety of IoT devices, meaning the attack was being spread by the IoT devices themselves.

Check Point estimates that over 1-million organisations have already been affected worldwide – and the number is increasing.

“Our research suggests we are now experiencing the calm before an even more powerful storm,” according to a Check Point statement. “The next cyber hurricane is about to come.”