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Linux systems are becoming prime targets for the XorDdos malware, a new report claims.

Hackers are increasingly deploying the XorDdos malware to infiltrate Linux systems and launch distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, with a large surge in attempted breaches in recent months. The open-source nature of Linux makes it a prime target for such malware, particularly when it is running on Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices where security updates are patchy. New legislation announced this month may help tackle the problem.

XorDdos, so-called for its use of the XOR encryption algorithm, is used to carry out ‘SSH brute force’ attacks, where it tries to work out the log-in credentials of a device. “They’re trying to rely on the fact that people haven’t secured these devices,” says Bharat Mistry, technical director of the UK and Ireland at security company Trend Micro. “In some cases it might be just a default password.”