Your mum & IoT security

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On October 21, 2016 the USA suffered one of the largest cyber attacks of its kind. But this wasn’t the Russians. The culprits were much more terrifying. Thanks to the boom in Internet of Things (IoT) devices and poorly configured innate security features, the culprits were ordinary and naïve mums and dads spread across 164 countries.

To be more precise it was their 500,000 plus unsecured routers, digital video recorders (DVRs), security cameras, and even refrigerators that caused the outage – turned into ‘zombies’ by a botnet called Mirai. These mundane appliances, albeit with Internet connectivity, were one minute keeping vegetables fresh or recording an episode of Game of Thrones, and the next sending look up requests with the combined volume of 1,100 gigabits per second; all to a single IP address.

Had the victim been a lone website, as was the case in December 31, 2015 when the BBC was hit by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack from ‘New World Hacking’, only a small number of users would have been inconvenienced. But the Mirai botnet was more strategic. It attacked the Domain Name Service (DNS) provider, Dyn, based in New Hampshire, and in doing so made the websites of Amazon.com, AirBnB, Netflix, and over 70 other significant companies, invisible for six hours. The IoT had successfully been used for evil, at a cost to companies of roughly $110 million in potential lost revenue…Click HERE to read full article.

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