Asus Router Apocalypse: TheMoon Malware Botnet Hijacks Thousands of Devices

Beware, your ancient Asus router might be part of “TheMoon” malware’s cosmic conquest, powering a shady proxy service. Secure your cyber-galaxy: update and password-protect! #CybersecurityComedy

Hot Take:

Looks like it’s time to turn that old Asus router into a doorstop, because if you don’t, TheMoon malware might just recruit it into the cybercriminal underworld faster than you can say “What’s my Wi-Fi password again?” Seriously, these routers are joining the dark side quicker than a Sith Lord on a bad day, and if you’re still using one, you might as well put up a sign that says “Hackers Welcome!”

Key Points:

  • Asus routers that are older than your grandpa’s flip phone are getting hijacked by TheMoon malware, transforming them into unwilling minions for a nefarious proxy service.
  • A whopping 6,000 routers were compromised in just 72 hours, starting in early March 2024. That’s faster than most of us can binge-watch a season of our favorite show.
  • The Faceless proxy service, which sounds like a villain from a superhero movie, is using these routers to cloak dastardly deeds in the shadows of the internet.
  • Payment for these shady services is in cryptocurrency because, of course, it is. Why leave a paper trail when you can pay in internet money?
  • The best defense is to actually update your router and not use “password123” as your password. Revolutionary, right?

Need to know more?

Router Roundup Rodeo

Our friends at Black Lotus Labs lassoed a tech horror story for us: thousands of Asus routers are now unwilling participants in TheMoon's malware rodeo. These routers are so old they might as well have a dial-up connection, but that hasn't stopped them from becoming the latest gadgets in a cybercriminal's toolkit. The campaign has been wrangling routers since March 2024, and it's not looking to stop anytime soon.

International House of Hackers

Grab your passports because this botnet is going global! With no geographic preference, these routers could be on a world tour, and your living room might be their next stop. Roughly 7,000 new devices are getting the VIP pass to the Faceless proxy service every week, which is about as exclusive as getting a cold in winter.

The Invisible Man's Internet

Faceless isn't just a cool name; it's also a dark web tool that makes hackers as hard to pin down as a rumor on the internet. Using cryptocurrencies for transactions is like slipping on a digital invisibility cloak. And to keep the magic alive, each infected device chats with only one server, maintaining the mystery of the infrastructure's "Where's Waldo?" status.

Survival of the Slickest

Turns out, one-third of these router infections are more stubborn than that one piece of popcorn stuck in your teeth. They last more than 50 days, while 15% are about as fleeting as a mayfly's lifespan, getting snuffed out in two days. It's a digital Darwinism out there, folks.

Antique or Antihack?

If your router's firmware is so ancient it belongs in a museum, it's time for an update. And while you're at it, set a password that would make a hacker sweat. Remember, an updated router with a strong password is like garlic to vampires; it keeps the bloodsuckers at bay.

Extra Credit Reading

For those who want to dive deeper, lend an eyeball to TechRadar Pro's newsletter, which is chock-full of news, opinions, and tips to keep your business from becoming a hacker's playground. And if you’re curious about what a residential proxy is or need a refresher on the best firewalls and endpoint security tools, they've got the goods. Consider it your cybersecurity homework, minus the pop quizzes and paper cuts.

The Wordsmith Behind the Wisdom

Sead, the journalist with more cybersecurity knowledge than most have about their own family history, hails from Sarajevo and can probably write an article faster than we can Google "how to update router firmware." He's the tech-savvy scribe we all need but probably don't deserve, delivering the lowdown on all things digital while likely sipping a strong Bosnian coffee.

Tags: ASUS routers, botnet activity, Cryptocurrency Payments, dark web, Device Vulnerabilities, residential proxy service, TheMoon malware