Hijackers target IoT devices often, Symantec reveals



Cyber criminals are hijacking home networks and everyday consumer connected devices to help carry out distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, latest Symantec’s Security study revealed.

They target large companies for profitable operations. To succeed, they need cheap bandwidth and get it by stitching together a large web of consumer devices that are easy to infect because they lack sophisticated security.

More than half of all IoT attacks originate from China and the U.S., based on the location of IP addresses to launch malware attacks.

High numbers of attacks are also emanating from Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Ukraine and Vietnam. In some cases, IP addresses may be proxies used by attackers to hide their true location.

Further, Symantec found that  most IoT malware targets non-PC embedded devices such as web servers, routers, modems, network attached storage (NAS) devices, closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems, and industrial control systems.

Many are Internet-accessible but, because of their operating system and processing power limitations, they may not include any advanced security features, the security service provider said.

As attackers are now highly aware of insufficient IoT security, many pre-program their malware with commonly used and default passwords, allowing them to easily hijack IoT devices.

Poor security on many IoT devices makes them easy targets, and often victims may not even know they have been infected.

Furthermore, Symantec found IoT devices are a prime target, since they are designed to be plugged in and forgotten after basic set-up.

The most common passwords IoT malware used to attempt to log into devices was, unsurprisingly, the combination of ‘root’ and ‘admin’, indicating that default passwords are frequently never changed.