Cyber security experts have been warning for years now that the Internet of Things (IoT), which refers to any internet-connected devices, can easily be exploited by hackers. We’ve seen some pretty crazy IoT attacks during that time. Here are just a few of them.
5 Scary IoT Cyberattacks
The Mirai attack of 2016 was a botnet (a collection of infected, internet-connected computers or devices) that infected poorly-protected IoT devices that still had their factory default username and passwords.
The American undergraduate students who created the Mirai malware used the botnet army they amassed to send huge volumes of traffic to Dyn, an infrastructure company that hosts tons of big websites.
The result was that sites like GitHub, Twitter, Spotify, Reddit, the New York Times and more were knocked offline for several hours.
2. CloudPets Surveillance
In 2017, CloudPets, a manufacturer of internet-connected stuffed animals that allow children and parents to leave voice messages for each other, made a huge mistake by failing to properly secure a database that had over 800,000 users’ information.
This data included email addresses, passwords and voice messages. In addition, it was discovered that individual CloudPets toys could be turned into surveillance devices relatively easily.
3. Hijacked Vehicles
Although it’s tough to find cases of cybercriminals hacking internet-connected cars, there are many documented instances of security researches doing so.
Brakes, steering systems, locks, airbags and more can all be compromised. The potential consequences of IoT cyberattacks on cars are nightmarish.
4. Amazon Echo
In 2018, a group of Chinese hackers found a way to hijack Amazon Echoes to spy on people. Fortunately, they used their powers for good and alerted Amazon to the critical flaws they found.
However, it’s entirely possible that there are other flaws in the Amazon Echo’s security just waiting to be found and exploited, which could enable hackers to listen in on private conversations.
5. Senrio Demonstration
A security firm by the name of Senrio demonstrated how gaining access to one simple IoT device can enable a hacker to gain access to an entire corporate network.
Their example begins by targeting an internet-connected security camera, although in theory, any IoT device can be an entry point. From there, the hacker can figure out the network router’s IP address and things will snowball from there.