A kindle of devices attacked at once
A massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack against Dyn, a major domain name system (DNS) provider, broke large portions of the Internet in October 2016, causing a significant outage to a ton of websites and services, including Twitter, GitHub, PayPal, Amazon, Reddit, Netflix, and Spotify. According to security intelligence firm Flashpoint, Mirai bots were detected driving much, but not necessarily all, of the traffic in the DDoS attacks against DynDNS.
Mirai is a piece of malware that targets Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as routers, and security cameras, DVRs, and enslaves vast numbers of these compromised devices into a botnet, which is then used to conduct DDoS attacks. Since the source code of Mirai Botnet has already made available to the public, anyone can wield these attacks against targets. This time hackers did not target an individual site, rather they attacked Dyn that many sites and services are using as their upstream DNS provider for turning internet protocol (IP) addresses into human-readable websites.
This type of attack is notable and concerning because it largely consists of unsecured IoT devices, which are growing exponentially with time. These devices are implemented in a way that they cannot easily be updated and thus are nearly impossible to secure. Manufacturers majorly focus on performance and usability of IoT devices but ignore security measures and encryption mechanisms, which is why they are routinely being hacked and widely becoming part of DDoS botnets used as weapons in cyber attacks.
An online tracker of the Mirai botnet suggests there are more than 1.2 Million Mirai-infected devices on the Internet, with over 166,000 devices active right now. More about this can be found on massive Internet outage.
Not so Smart Refrigerator
White-hat hackers at Pen-Test Partners were able to use fake security credentials to intercept communications between the fridge and Google Calendar. Cybercrooks could potentially use a similar technique to steal your Google login names and passwords. However, those thieves would first need to log onto your Wi-Fi network to access the fridge. Besides the fridge, the hackers also found 25 vulnerabilities in 14 allegedly smart devices, including scales, coffee makers, wireless cameras, locks, home automation hubs, and fingerprint readers.
The hack was pulled off against the RF28HMELBSR smart fridge, part of Samsung’s line-up of Smart Home appliances which can be controlled via their Smart Home app. While the fridge implements SSL, it fails to validate SSL certificates; thereby enabling man-in-the-middle attacks against most connections.
The internet-connected device is designed to download Gmail calendar information to an on-screen display. Security shortcomings mean that hackers who manage to jump onto the same network can potentially steal Google login credentials from their neighbors. More about this can be found on hacking a smart refrigerator.
Not just these IoT hacks, attacks on surveillance camera, Bluetooth devices, and email accounts are getting common these days. Additional to these, there are weird attacks like ‘Smart toilet’ hacks that took place in Japan, home automation attacks on light bulbs. In short, the threats through IoT hacks are real and our data is prone to the attacks. Therefore while using IoT devices make sure that security is built on the foundation of the system and validity checks, authentication, data verification, encryption is carried out frequently.
If you know any more IoT hacks, let us know in the comment section below.
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