IoT Devices and Their impact on 2017

2016 was the know only as the “Year of the Hacker”. Cybersecurity is no longer a side priority. As cyber terrorists continue to perform DDoS Attacks and hold companies for hostage via Ransomware we’re left wondering “How exactly did they breach our systems”. Many would say the “Internet of Things” the “Internet of Things”. What is it exactly? Well… the “Internet of Things” are everyday appliances that are connected to the internet. Devices such as Drones , Cameras, Smart Tv’s , Thermostats, Smart Phones, and countless others can be weaponized to preform massive cyber attacks on corporations, websites, banks, and networks.

Just Last year the Cyber attack On Dyn (The Internet Infrastructure Company that provides internet services to popular websites and and companies such as Netflix, Amazon, Reddit, Twitter, and Spotify) created a problem for users when they tried to access those services. The attack hit Dyn with 1.2 Tb/s in which 10s of millions of hacked IP addresses were utilized and quickly became the largest and most effective DDoS attack to date.

How did they do it?

Via the “Internet of Things”. A Malware Program known as Mirai is to blame. The Botnet Malware turns computer systems that are operating on Linux (e.g IoT Devices) into remotely controlled “bots” that can be used as part of a botnet in which the hacker can use to conduct massive DDoS attacks on whomever and whenever they choose.

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You’re probably thinking to yourself ” I thought all my devices had at least some security behind them ” while that may be true, the majority of IoT devices created were created for Convenience rather than Security. These appliances along with their low grade security systems can be hacked, infected, and turned into a bot within minutes. To Prevent your precious Smart Fridge from being used in a large scale DDoS attack we recommend you try out these Tips:

Best Practices

  • Make sure your devices are up to date on the latest firmware version
  • Use Strong Different Passwords for every devices
  • Don’t Connect your IoT Devices unless you have to
  • Exercise caution when using cloud services

If you’re dealing with sensitive data or you’re concerned about privacy, then make sure you have a long hard look at the IoT devices you’re considering. What security protocols do they support? How easy are they to patch? Do your providers have a proper privacy policy? It’s not safe to assume they’re secure because all too often they simply aren’t.