Cyber attacks on connected objects are exploding in 2019

Cyber attacks on connected objects are exploding in 2019

Speakers, cars, watches, and now even rings… The connected objects multiply and become targets for hackers at the same time. In its latest study, Kaspersky thus reveals that attacks against so-called “IoT” devices have increased by a factor of 9 between the first half of 2018 and the first half of 2019, from 12 million attacks to… 105 million!

To make these measurements, Kaspersky used lures, called “honeypot” in English. “Honeypots” that mimic connected objects to attract hackers, and its 50 “honeypots” have detected more than 100 million attacks, from 276,000 different IP addresses. All this in just six months. Kaspersky calculated that his lures had generated 20,000 infected sessions every 15 minutes.

25 security vulnerabilities per device tested

The study examined a wide range of connected objects: televisions, webcams, home automation accessories (thermostats, electrical outlets, locks, alarms, automatic doors, etc.), multi-device control boxes.

The majority of these products worked with cloud services and all used mobile applications for remote access and control. HP used its online platform Fortify on Demand to scan a dozen of the most common connected objects and discovered an average of 25 security breaches per device.

According to HP, 70% of connected objects contain security vulnerabilities

The Internet of Things promises us a future where we will live surrounded by sensors and electronic devices that can communicate with each other and be controlled remotely. We are talking about televisions, appliances, connected sensors, and home automation devices, clothing, and smart accessories. It represents a market with enormous growth potential that marks the second chapter of the mobile revolution after smartphones and tablets. According to a projection by Gartner over 2020, the installed base of connected objects will represent 26 billion units for a total turnover of 300 billion dollars.

But there is one aspect that has yet to be mentioned: the safety of these products. How are a connected refrigerator, surveillance camera, or TV protected from viruses and hackers? The giant Hewlett-Packard (or HP) has carried out a study on this subject whose conclusions are disturbing. 70% of the connected objects assessed had many vulnerabilities that could be easily exploited. 

Common sense advice

Kaspersky recommends that you change the default password provided by the manufacturers at the time of purchase, but also update the devices when this is offered, as the files include the latest security fixes. Finally, it is always advisable to use a VPN to restrict the use and connections of objects to your local network (home or business).