Last Friday was certainly a black day for internet users as several websites were attacked by hackers, making more than half the internet unavailable for users. This was the result of a DDoS or Distribution Denial of Service attack by hackers on a major DNS server causing massive outage. The attack’s execution was initiated via several vulnerable IOT (internet of things) devices, which were hacked to act as botnets that overloaded the websites with more requests than they could handle.
Sure the internet of things promises to bring more convenience in our lives. But since it’s in a developmental stage, the technology cannot be deemed as perfect. If you too feel that connecting your everyday technology through internet is a great idea, check out the below vulnerabilities that would make you feel otherwise.
Believe it or not, but your car could be an extremely potential gateway to horrifying cybercrime attacks. Since they’re talking about introducing driverless cars, it would become a much more obvious target for any such attacks. In, 2015 a Jeep was hacked in by two cyber security officials, while the vehicle was being driver by its owner. Although this was more of a security test, it clearly shows the dangerous possibilities if this technology was ever put to wrong use.
- IOT enabled Security Devices
Be it biometric scanners in workplaces, or security cameras, all such devices can become easy target for illegal spying activities. It is indeed ironic that these devices are meant to make our lives more secure, but aren’t very robust in their own security. Such a case was observed in 2014, where two unnamed security experts were able to hack into police camera network and could easily spy on an entire town. These devices can also act as botnets if ever compromised by cyber crime attacks and can be used as gateways to launch bigger attacks.
- Transportation Networks
With ‘smart cities’ becoming extremely prevalent, it becomes extremely difficult to pinpoint where cyber criminals could attack next. Several aspects of a smart city such as transportation services and traffic lights are all connected through internet technology. But with lack of proper security tests, these could easily be taken over by an attacker. It doesn’t even take a cybercrime attack to cause problems with such systems, as even a single bug or glitch could cause massive problems.
- Medical Devices
This is the worst of them all. Imagine having all the life support equipment in side hospitals being controlled by cyber criminals. Not only this would be extremely horrific, but also shows how deep this technology has invaded our lives. A similar situation was observed in 2015, when FDA officially issued a warning to US hospitals of a possible cybercrime attack via an internet-enabled drug administration pump. It might be hard to believe but medical information sells for a much higher price on the dark web, as compared to one’s credit card information.
- Power Grids
Most of our gadgets are nothing without electricity. Hence, any attack on your city’s power grid could send it right back to stone age. Such a case was also observed in Ukraine, when some alleged hackers from Russia took out a major chunk of the country’s power substations. The incident sure sounds harmless, but such attacks on electricity supply can bring entire cities can to a standstill and cause huge financial and economic losses. This not only proves how vulnerable most IOT technologies are and how easily they could be targeted by cyber criminals.
This not only shows how dangerous and unsafe internet can be, but also how easy it is for hackers to take advantage of our security loopholes. Adding to this there is a plethora of other vulnerable devices and technologies such as aircrafts, buildings and power grids etc. that could become potential targets.