Security outfit Cloudflare has noted that the newer generation of botnets gradually abandoned the tactic of building large swarms of individually weak IoT devices and are now shifting towards enslaving vulnerable and misconfigured VPS servers using leaked API credentials or known exploits.
This approach helps the threat actors build high-performance botnets easier and often quicker, which can be up to 5,000 times stronger than IoT-based botnets.
The Cloudflare report said that the new generation of botnets uses a fraction of the devices, but each is substantially stronger.
"Cloud computing providers offer virtual private servers to allow start-ups and businesses to create performant applications. The downside is that it allows attackers to create high-performance botnets that can be as much as 5,000x stronger."
Cloudflare has been working with key cloud computing providers and partners to crack down on these emerging VPS-based threats and says it has succeeded in taking down substantial portions of these novel botnets.