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Linux malware is on the rise thanks to the popularity of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. In fact, according to a study published by Crowdstrike, Linux malware grew 35% in 2021 compared to 2020.

Essentially, so many IoT devices are targeted because they can be easily recruited into DDoS attacks. These devices usually run basic Linux distributions that can only perform some essential functions, but when their powers combine, they can become powerful enough to aid in powerful DDoS attacks.

There are other reasons for attackers to target these IoT smart devices. For example, they can mine cryptocurrency, act as command and control servers, or even serve as entry points into corporate networks.

For larger devices from large companies, holes tend to be patched out quickly thanks to software updates, but with smaller devices, updates are often few and far between, leaving these devices with gaping holes that malicious individuals can easily target.

“For example, whether using hardcoded credentials, open ports or unpatched vulnerabilities, Linux-running IoT devices are a low-hanging fruit for threat actors — and their en masse compromise can threaten the integrity of critical internet services,” said Mihai Maganu in Crowdstrike’s report.

According to Crowdstrike’s report, XorDDoS, Mirai, and Mozi were the most popular families, making up about 22% of Linux-targeting malware attacks observed in 2021.

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If this trend continues, we could see even more malware come out for Linux devices in 2022. If there are easy security holes to access, hackers will find them, regardless of the operating system.

Keep your devices updated as often as patches are available to ensure you’re secure. Not only will these updates add new features, but they’ll help keep your network safe. Also, think about the companies you choose to add to your smart home. Will the firm patch out any holes, or will they move on to the next product? These are essential factors to consider when choosing your next smart home purchase.

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Profile Photo for Dave LeClair Dave LeClair
Dave LeClair was the News Editor for How-To Geek. He started writing about technology more than 10 years ago. He's written articles for publications like MakeUseOf, Android Authority, Digital Trends, and plenty of others. He's also appeared in and edited videos for various YouTube channels around the web.
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