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Hackers are outsmarting IoT

July 4, 2017

An article advises how to secure technology in the home.

Komando.com reported that if every piece of technology was smart like cars and the house lights etc then the car could, in theory, let the house know it was on its way home and it would turn on the lights and possible the heating too.

However, the article noted that despite this clever technology making life easier, it does come with risks not least from cyber criminals creating chaos just for fun. Accessing many IoT gadgets means that these criminals can shut down websites and this is called “distributed denial of services” (DDOS) attack.

Often performed with a botnet, DDOS attacks take place when “servers are overwhelmed with more traffic than they can handle”. The article explains that botnets are “groups of gadgets that hackers have taken over without the owners knowledge” and hackers gain access to gadgets with viruses or malware and then “then use the network of infected computers to perform large-scale hacks or scams”.

Also noted by the article was that hackers are now infecting smart refrigerators and webcams and creating botnets which they then sell to other criminals on the Dark Web.

Protecting IoT gadgets is important and the advice is to “reboot devices to clear out the malware” and to change the default administrator username and password on routers, IP webcams and connected printers and if smart appliances connect through the manufacturers site the advice is to make sure the password is as “complex and unique” as possible.

Routers with firewall functions need to be protected by going to the administration page and the setting “disable Port Scan” and “Enable DoS Protection” which both need turning on. All firmware updates need to be checked and if security patches have been issued by manufacturers it is important to download them. Finally, the article advised that firmware updates should be checked at least every three months in case they are not happening automatically.

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