IoT devices are all around us. From smart light bulbs to smart thermostats, smart door locks to connected refrigerators, and even smart toilets, there’s a whole world of “smart” devices out there that can be controlled remotely via the Internet. Even your car has one now — if it doesn’t have a built-in system that lets you unlock and start it with your smartphone, it probably has an app that lets you do so instead.
So what exactly is an IoT device? It’s any device that connects to the Internet and can be controlled remotely by someone else. That might sound like a broad definition, but it actually covers most types of connected devices that we use every day — everything from our smartphones and laptops to our TVs, cars, and even home appliances like washing machines or refrigerators.
What happens in an IoT attack?
The hacker gains unauthorized access to the device by exploiting a vulnerability in its software or firmware. This could be via a compromised password or by exploiting a bug in the device’s code.
The hacker then installs malware on the device, giving them full control over it. The malware could be designed to gather sensitive information from the devices’ owners or carry out other malicious actions such as shutting down devices randomly or causing them to crash.
Once they have full control over your smart TV or refrigerator, they can use it as part of a botnet — a group of computers controlled by hackers without their owners’ knowledge — which is used to send spam emails or launch denial-of-service attacks against websites by flooding them with traffic from multiple sources at once.
What can I do to prevent an IoT attack?
There are many things you can do to prevent an IoT (internet of things) attack. Here are some of the most important ones:
Use a VPN: VPNs can help protect your privacy and prevent companies from tracking you. They also help anonymize your traffic so that it’s harder for malicious actors to find out who you are. Remember that if you use a public Wi-Fi network, those hotspots can be used by hackers to track your location too.
Secure your devices: If you have an IoT device at home, make sure that it has a unique password and update it regularly. This will help protect against hacks and attacks.
Keep your software up-to-date: Hackers often target vulnerabilities in software that may have been fixed if only users kept their software up-to-date with the latest security patches. If a company doesn’t release new versions of its software often enough, this might be an indication that they don’t care about security at all or they’re not paying attention to what’s happening in the world around them. Either way, this is not a company you want to support with your money or data.
The Internet of Things may hold a lot of promise, but it also has a lot of potential for abuse. Attackers are already looking for ways to take advantage of new technology, and there’s no reason to think that this trend will stop. Meanwhile, users and businesses alike need to be aware of IoT attacks before they happen so that they can adequately prepare for them. The Internet of Things is still relatively young, and it’s certainly facing some growing pains—but we’re hopeful that technology companies will find ways to solve these issues before they become real problems.