The term Internet of Things is a general and broad term given to any small devices which connect to the internet. The most common types of devices include alarm systems, security cameras, thermostat control units, and even baby monitors. Essentially, if the item is a set-and-forget type affair, then it’s like an included device.
The unfortunate nature is that it is this exact mindset that has allowed for IoT attacks to occur and will continue to allow for them if preventative action isn’t taken.
Let’s explain How it Works.
Hackers will spend hours each day searching through the code of the operating system loaded onto the devices mentioned above. While they are searching, they are looking for ways which they can access the device remotely. That is, they can take control of the device from their own computer.
Once they find a flaw which they can exploit, they are then able to take control of millions of these devices across the globe. The level of control depends on the device and the hacker themselves, however, the main goal is purely to request internet pages.
You see, once a hacker has become agitated with a brand or a company, their preferred course of action is to disrupt the website of that company, often taking it offline and reducing its ability to do business. To do this, a hacker will take command of the compromised devices and command them all to visit a single website address. Again, and again and again and again. As you have likely seen from your favorite news website, when too many people try to access one site at the same time, it becomes unresponsive and eventually crashes.
This is exactly what happens with an IoT attack. Devices like your own fridge or thermostat could be used to disrupt a website.
The challenge faced by these companies is that, unlike when there are too many genuine visitors who eventually give up trying and leave the site, these compromised machines continuously making requests, leaving it almost impossible for websites to get back up and running as they are continuously under attack.
How Can You Prevent This From Happening?
While something so global may seem out of your control, you are the very person who can help. Utilizing device protection services from the Groupon Coupons page for Kaspersky Lab is the first step to locking down as many devices as possible and preventing them from being used for malicious purposes.
Additionally, be sure to look through all of your device’s setting to ensure that all of the available security measures are in place. Often, a manufacturer will leave their devices on the easiest setting, however, these aren’t always the most secure.
In addition to this, be sure to stay alert for available updates to each of your devices, and regularly check for security patches along with telling your friends and family to do the same and problems like this will eventually become a thing of the past.