In short: Older IoT devices and home gadgets can be the targets for hackers, as many such devices were compromised in recent past, that may even sound like creepy as the world is moving towards the Internet of Things. Hackers can leverage numerous such devices and would be able to perform DDoS attacks that intend to paralyze our infrastructure, systems and even human life.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is nothing but a network of enormous systems that have embedded firmware that can have the ability to transfer data over a network without human intervention.
The Internet of things (IoT) is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items embedded with electronics, software, which enables these objects to connect and exchange data.
Security researchers are discovering various vulnerabilities on IoT devices and networks every day. It is estimated that by the year 2020, 30 Billion IoT devices would be connected on to the internet. So if this story continues, then it would surely put the users to risk.
On a daily basis, there are a tremendous number of smart devices connected on to the internet that works in various areas such as agriculture, hospitals, houses etc. So what happens if a medical device kept in a hospital is hacked? It isn’t a joke at all, it may go evil if a cybercriminal accesses it remotely!
Here is an example of DDoS attack that targeted IoT devices over the internet.
Let’s roll back the years, In October 2016, The largest DDoS attack was targetted on Dyn(The company that manages DNS on the internet). As a result of this, the internet top sites such as Twitter, the Guardian, Netflix, Reddit, CNN and many of the sites in the US and Europe were also down.
The cause of the outage was because of a distributed denial of services attack (DDoS attack). The network of computers was affected by a malware named Mirai Botnet, which continuously searches the internet for vulnerable IoT devices, infect it and after that, the Mirai malware perpetually attacks the server with traffic until it is down. The IoT devices here were DVR players, digital cameras etc.
And here the victim was the Dyn on whom the DDoS attack was performed.
The reason why the IoT devices can be compromised!
- Devices with default passwords can be easily attacked by a cybercriminal.
- Devices with old firmware or software is also a major reason through which a cybercriminal can misuse an IoT device.
It is understood that a software or a firmware update may surely make it difficult for a cybercriminal to hack into a system. In addition to that, default passwords should also be changed to unique passwords and 2FA should also be made mandatory which may stand as a guard against this kind of attacks.
There are a lot more IoT devices are to be found in near future, and if this kind of trend continues, surely it may turn in to a catastrophe.