Fighting Fire with Fire

The Recent DDoS attack captured many simple uniform computers on the internet with ineffective passwords. A SlashDot commenter proposed adapting the published Mirai code to capture these poorly protected systems and thus protecting the world from them. It was dismissed as illegal or a joke. I suggest that it may be illegal, yet ethical. But I am not offering to pay your legal costs.

This project can be improved by instructing the captured camera system to return text “Change my Password!”. A further opportunity is to set up apparent weak systems as a honey pot to explore what passwords the bad guys guess.

Is the Mirai code copyrighted?

At the Livermore weapons lab in 1956, if a guard found an open safe in a room with no one in it, he would write a citation, put it in the safe and lock the safe. It is sort of a police like function. People mostly understand that the police need to break the law to enforce the law. The two cases are slightly analogous.

Perhaps these computers have been reprogrammed by Mirai to resist further penetration by subsequent probes. In that case this scheme is less effectve.

Of course the ultimate solution is the Digital Silk Road.