"Surviving the IoT Cyberattack Pandemic" by Ronald E. Quirk and Terry Dunlap


March 13, 2017

Surviving the IoT Cyberattack Pandemic by Ronald E. Quirk and Terry Dunlap (Published on the IoT Journal)

"Assess your risks, secure your firmware and comply with the ever-changing regulatory landscape.

'The Internet of Things is turning into a security nightmare.' So wrote Thomas Ricker, a respected systems engineer and deputy editor of the The Verge, in describing the enormous distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that disabled wide swaths of the Internet in late September 2016. This is no hyperbole. Mr. Ricker's statement succinctly describes the current state of Internet of Things devices' vulnerability to cyberattack and hacking.

According to a leading report by Malwarebytes Labs, there were nearly 1 billion malware detections and incidents, affecting nearly 100 million devices in more than 200 countries, during the June to November 2016 period alone. The United States is the top country for ransomware detections, as Americans are targeted because of their wide accessibility to technology and their ability to pay the ransom.


Unprotected IoT Devices Are Begging for Cyberattacks

IoT devices are particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks from botnets—a network of private computers infected with malicious software and used to spread malware. The aforementioned DDoS attack was orchestrated by a botnet that spread Mirai, an open-source malware, which compromised many IoT devices and home routers, with all of the infected devices being controlled by a single source. This brought down many well-known websites."

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