Today, IoT is not just a buzzword on the internet; it has made a stout presence and influenced almost every part of our lives. And with holidays approaching closer, the spectrum of IoT is expanding like never before. This year we will see plenty of smartwatches, Smart home appliances, wearable techs, and innovative gadgets making their way into our gift baskets. Unfortunately, such devices are vulnerable to cyber-attacks and can be used virtual weapons without the owner’s consent.
The previous year, a bunch of security cameras was infected by “Mirai” botnets. The botnets took down few of the most used websites on the internet including Amazon, Twitter, GitHub, and Spotify. The same thing could happen this year because no IoT device is fully secured including gaming consoles, smart speakers such as Google Home and Amazon Echo, home hubs, and even thermostats. According to a US study, “Technology items amount more than 76 percent when it comes holiday gift items, and the number has been constant for the past 15 years, and it is not going down soon. This year more than 197 million people will buy gifts associated with the Internet of Things. Gartner has even predicted that there would be more than 50 billion IoT devices until 2020. And as Black Friday is coming closer people will buy IoT devices, regardless of the security barriers.
As stated by experts the Mirai infected devices launched a DDoS that firstly corrupted KerbsOnSecurity.com, and days later it took down U.S.’s Dynamic Network Services or DYN. The attack took down significant sites on the internet for hours. Dyn’s computer servers act like an internet switchboard by translating a Web site address into its corresponding internet protocol (IP) address. A Web browser needs that IP address to find and connect to the server hosting that site’s content.
Today IoT security is regarded as a minor issue, but people will show their concern once they realize that someone is hacking into their system. But most likely, hackers will firstly attack home cameras to understand user behavior. They can even use it to record the usernames and passwords typed into mobile devices and computers, now how cool is that!
The IoT is growing by leaps and bounds, but manufacturers are paying less attention to security. In a report published by National Cyber Security Alliance and ESET, more than 16,000 consumers said that weak security in IoT devices is preventing them from buying one. However, 43% of audiences reported that they are using their default password. Most stated that most devices have hard to change password systems while others have permanent passwords coded in.
While manufacturers are showing no attention towards improving the security of IoT devices, consumers should pay attention to what they are buying and purchase things with highest standards. Many cybersecurity experts suggest consumers protect their internet routers with strong passwords, as it the source for all connected devices. So, this holiday doesn’t hesitate to throw few extra bucks on secured connected devices.
Happy Holiday Everyone!