Internet of things security
When it comes to the topic of Internet of things, the most commonly asked question is ” is it secure? ” Actually, it is a good question to ask. Maybe the best question. Because of its high vulnerability of security. So far we have covered a lot of areas in IoT. Also, we have discussed how useful IoT is. But today we are gonna talk about the biggest disadvantage of IoT which is security and privacy issues. Right, let’s see is it safe or not. Now we are gonna dive deep in the IoT security and discuss a lot of areas.
Introduction to IoT security
As we all know, IoT is all about devices connecting to the internet. But when you connect a device to the internet, it is vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Therefore if a hacker could able to break through your iot system, then he has control of all the devices in the system.
IoT devices can be attacked in two major ways.
The first one is Network attack which is mainly targeting the software of the devices. The second one is physical attacks. it targets the chip of the device.
So to protect the Internet of things devices, its security should include both physical device security as well as network security.
What happened if an attacker breakthrough?
If someone hacks your mobile phone or laptop, he can only access the details related to that device. But in a smart house, all the devices in the IoT system has connected to the internet through a smart hub. But most of these smart hubs have some serious security vulnerabilities. Therefore if someone could access your device by using these vulnerabilities, then he has full access to all the devices in the system. Which means he can control your smart home. He can access your all privacy details (credit cards, personal information), cameras (webcam), and many more things. Even he can hack your smart kitchen and unlock your door and stole food. :-p
Security vulnerabilities and challenges
- Inexperience manufacturers: Most of the new manufactures in the IoT market have used to focus on a fast end production to put their product quickly into the market. Therefore they don’t consider much about device security.
- Weak passwords: Some users don’t really know about how much passwords are important. They don’t even want to change the default password that comes to their device. Even if they did change the password, it is very weak. Because they only focus on easily memorizable passwords more than a strong one.
- Lack of updates: As I mention in the first one, new manufacturers don’t have a good after-sales service. Therefore some devices get regular software or framework updates. So bugs in the device are never gonna fix.
- AI and automation in IoT administration: Over 30 billion IoT devices are using in the world right now. This amount of user data manually analyzing and managing is impossible for the administration. Therefore artificial intelligence and automation technologies are using to manage these user data. But one single error in the algorithms used in these technologies can make serious wrong decisions that can be affected billions of users and devices.
Most common types of IoT attacks
- Physical cyber attacks: The attacker needs a physical engagement with the IoT device to insert some external device or something.
- Network cyber attacks: These kind attacks don’t need any physical engagement with the device. The attackers gain access to your network and redirect data packets to their own location.
- Software attacks: In a software attack the attacker send a malware and install it in your device. So they can corrupt data, steal data, or spy.
- Encryption attacks: This kind of attack can deduce and unlock encryption codes in your IoT device. The attacker can install their own algorithms on our device and take full control of it.
Famous Internet of things security attacks
- In 2016 malware called Mirai infected to thousands of devices. This malware can search the internet for vulnerable IoT devices and infects the malware into those devices. Therefore this malware spread all around the world in a very quick time. So many famous websites were infected including Netflix, Twitter, Reddit, The Guardian, and CNN. This causes to large part of the internet going down. Also, this holds the record for the largest DDoS attack ever launched on service provider Dyn.
- A few years back a group of hackers breaks into a casino using a rather uncommon method They get access to the casino network via smart thermometer (IoT device) in an aquarium and extract all highly sensitive data.
- Last year researchers found out that over 50000 sex toy users sex life in danger because of a certain Vibratissimo panti booster sex toy. This is because of the vulnerabilities of that device. As researchers said, a lot of highly sensitive data of the users could be hacked.
- Back in 2016, a group of hackers launched a DDoS attack on an environment control system via thermostats and let to freeze residents of two apartments in Finland for about a week.
IoT is a highly useful technology and it helps people to reduce their workload and save time in many ways. So there are few simple steps to protect yourself from attacks and create strong IoT security. That can help you to get full use of it.
- Set Strong Passwords.
- Create a separate network for IoT devices.
- Update software and firmware regularly.
- Disconnect unwanted devices.
- Disable the Universal plug and play.
However, always keep in mind that any device cant secure 100%. Therefore use your devices with that small idea in your mind.
Have someone ever hack your device? Leave a comment below and share your experience with others.