Program manager of DARPA, Michael Walker, once said in a program that the threat of IoT devices being hacked by bad guys is a “challenge for civilization.” Just over the last two years, IoT devices penetration increased by a whopping 70%. There are around 6.4 billion IoT devices in the world, according to the research firm Gartner. People will connect almost everything with the internet in the near future, which will result in increased opportunities for hackers. Following are some of the biggest cyberattacks and hacks related to Internet of Things devices.
2016 Attack on Dyn Using Mirai
Perhaps the biggest Internet of Things related cyberattack took place in October, 2016, when thousands of websites and devices were taken down after a team of hackers spread around the world leveraged access to connected devices such as video surveillance cameras and printers to initiate a DDoS attack. This attack overwhelmed almost every famous website and took it down within minutes. Millions of people were affected. The attack targeted Dyn, the biggest DNS service provider. Most of the hardware devices which were affected in this IoT cyberattack were made by a Chinese company, XiongMai Technologies. The software that was used in the attack is known as Mirai.
A few weeks ago, a massive ransomware attack unfolded around the world, and affected over 29 countries and thousands of hospitals, universities, banks and households. The attack was launched using a Windows exploit. While the attack wasn’t directly related to Internet of Things, analysts believe that hackers will soon start asking for ransom by hacking connected devices. Last year, two researchers from the UK-based cybersecurity firm Pen Test Partners successfully demonstrated a cyberattack in which thermostats and household connected devices get hacked for ransom. Andrew Tierney and Ken Munro showed the world how easy it is for hackers to breach the home thermostats and make money.
In 2015, in one a spectacular and somewhat terrifying move, two white hate hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valase demonstrated a hack by taking control of a Fiat Chrysler car. The hackers remotely took control of the car, manipulated chillers, the steering and all the functions of the vehicle. Immediately after the report, Fiat Chrysler recalled 1.4 million vehicles to fix a software vulnerability in its Uconnect dashboard computers. This is one of the biggest evidences that some of our most crucial devices and products remain at risk.
Attack on Brian Krebs’ Website Using Botnet
In 2016, hackers forced famous cybersecurity analyst and journalist Brian Krebs to shutdown his website using botnets. Hackers used about 98,000 hacked devices, including IoT-based cameras, to launch unending requests to his website. Hackers targeted Krebs because he regularly exposes the secrets of the organized crime world of hackers.