Hackers were recently able to obtain access to a wide variety of connected devices, prompting new concerns over the security of the IoT, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The majority of devices hacked were connected cameras that consumers and businesses use for monitoring purposes.
The hackers utilized a collection of connected devices to generate data and webpage requests that took their targets offline, according to security experts. The size and scope of the attacks are what made the hack particularly noteworthy. The hackers gained access to more than 1 million connected devices, making it one of the largest ever breaches of connected devices.
One company particularly affected by the hack was China-based Dahua Technology, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of security cameras and video recorders. The company told the WSJ that it's reviewing material on the hack from Level 3 Communications in order to prevent similar attacks. Further, the hack sent a massive DDOS using the devices to generate new web page views to temporarily shut down cybersecurity journalist Brian Krebs. Hosting company Akamai reportedly had never seen an attack on a website as massive as the hack on Krebs’ site.
The WSJ noted a series of best practices for smart home security that can help prevent such hacks:
Research before purchasing your smart home products. Consumers need to research the security protocols that their connected devices follow, and pay attention to how device makers issue security updates for devices’ software.
Update the firmware of your devices. The WSJ recommends regularly updating devices, even new ones, as security updates could be released or change on a daily basis.
Change the password for your smart home devices. Most hackers attempt to obtain a universal password for users so they can hack into all of the connected devices in the home.
Secure your router. This means updating your firmware more frequently or simply setting your router to the WPA2 security setting, which can help a great deal.
Create a separate network for your devices. By setting up a separate router and network for smart home devices, users can prevent them from being hacked by PCs.
Point connected cameras in the right direction. Your connected cameras — as this incident shows — can be among the most easily hackable devices.