The State of IoT Devices One Year After DDoS Attacks

Just a year ago today something amazing happened. IoT devices from around the world were used to create the most concise DDoS attack that the United States had ever seen. The attacks  affected sites like Reddit, Spotify, Paypal, Amazon and many others.

 

Stephen Cobb, in an analysis of the event stated that “We have been shown just how vulnerable the internet – which is now an integral part of the critical infrastructure of the US and many other countries – is to disruptive abuse conducted at scale, by persons whose identity is not immediately ascertainable.”

 

It’s a year later. What did we learn and how have we grown since that? The world market is completely dependent upon online events and online transactions. That means it is imperative that we stop attacks and prevent further issues.

 

What Exactly Happened?

 

Anything that can connect to the internet is risky. The attacks of last year  ( October 21) were made possible by millions of internet connected devices that were simply not well used . These attacks were made possible by people who had no real idea how to use their devices or more importantly, how to secure them. Surveillance cameras, home security,  home routers and many other things were used in order to shut down or deny services to sites. The attackers infected many thousands of IoT devices. Using malicious code these devices were formed into a giant botnet and that botnet swamped the servers of the  affected sites.

 

How Could That Happen?

 

Remember in the directions where it tells you to change that default password. It may come as a huge surprise to find that most people don’t. It may also come as a big shock that most people  still don’t a year later and there are no more warnings on packaging than there were prior to the massive DDos a year ago.   What have we taken away from one of the largest attacks on computer systems?  It looks like very little, to be honest.

 

How Can We Defend Against These Attacks?

 

We’ve known that IoT devices could be used for attacks since the beginning of IoT.  Companies advise people to change the passwords. Most don’t. Hackers and malware developers know the default passwords to many of these machines and log into them, using them for their own purposes. You can tell people to change the passwords on their IoT devices, but there isn’t any real way to make them do so.

 

So, a year later, how can we stop this? Realistically, the same way we could always have stopped it. We take better care of our networks, make sure that our passwords are changed periodically and that we don’t share them if we can avoid it.

 

This type of attack is relatively new so there really isn’t a best practice methodology to prevent it, but there are ways to regulate control of your own home or business network.  If you’re in business, make sure that you have a DDoS defense plan and keep it up to date. Practice it regularly, just like a fire drill.

 

There are multiple ways to defend against DDoS attacks. While someone may breach your site at least make it as difficult for them as possible by using every device and resource that you have at your disposal. You may just make it difficult enough that it’s not worth the trouble and they will move on.

IoT DDos Attacks 12 Months Later. What Did We Learn?

Just a year ago today something amazing happened. IoT devices from around the world were used to create the most concise DDoS attack that the United States had ever seen. The attacks  affected sites like Reddit, Spotify, Paypal, Amazon and many others.

Stephen Cobb, in an analysis of the event stated that “We have been shown just how vulnerable the internet – which is now an integral part of the critical infrastructure of the US and many other countries – is to disruptive abuse conducted at scale, by persons whose identity is not immediately ascertainable.”

It’s a year later. What did we learn and how have we grown since that? The world market is completely dependent upon online events and online transactions. That means it is imperative that we stop attacks and prevent further issues.

What Exactly Happened?

Anything that can connect to the internet is risky. The attacks of last year  ( October 21) were made possible by millions of internet connected devices that were simply not well used . These attacks were made possible by people who had no real idea how to use their devices or more importantly, how to secure them. Surveillance cameras, home security,  home routers and many other things were used in order to shut down or deny services to sites. The attackers infected many thousands of IoT devices. Using malicious code these devices were formed into a giant botnet and that botnet swamped the servers of the  affected sites.

How Could That Happen?

Remember in the directions where it tells you to change that default password. It may come as a huge surprise to find that most people don’t. It may also come as a big shock that most people  still don’t a year later and there are no more warnings on packaging than there were prior to the massive DDos a year ago.   What have we taken away from one of the largest attacks on computer systems?  It looks like very little, to be honest.

How Can We Defend Against These Attacks?

We’ve known that IoT devices could be used for attacks since the beginning of IoT.  Companies advise people to change the passwords. Most don’t. Hackers and malware developers know the default passwords to many of these machines and log into them, using them for their own purposes. You can tell people to change the passwords on their IoT devices, but there isn’t any real way to make them do so.

So, a year later, how can we stop this? Realistically, the same way we could always have stopped it. We take better care of our networks, make sure that our passwords are changed periodically and that we don’t share them if we can avoid it.

This type of attack is relatively new so there really isn’t a best practice methodology to prevent it, but there are ways to regulate control of your own home or business network.  If you’re in business, make sure that you have a DDoS defense plan and keep it up to date. Practice it regularly, just like a fire drill.

There are multiple ways to defend against DDoS attacks. While someone may breach your site at least make it as difficult for them as possible by using every device and resource that you have at your disposal. You may just make it difficult enough that it’s not worth the trouble and they will move on.

 

 

Can AI and Big Data Save the Bees

One of the most important parts of our world and one that keeps us alive are bees. They pollinate more than  seventy—yes seventy—percent of the crops that feed mankind. In addition they give us more than 30 billion dollars in crops every year in our economy. That means that if we have no bees we’re going to be a hungry country. It also means that living with no bees simply isn’t possible.

Bees are declining very quickly these days. They are under threat from many different problems, not the least of which is a virus and another problem Varroa Descructor, a parasitic problem that feeds on bees and can cause ruin to an entire colony of bees in a very short time.

Artificial Intelligence and Big Data are being brought to bear on the problem and are making headway in finding ways to save the bees. The Bee Scanning app is using the vision of a computer to help to protect the bees and to show the farmers at the first sign problems so that they can go and correct it. The Machine Learning and the object recognition is making it so that the beekeeper can see the mites on the bees and work to eradicate them more fully and more quickly.

The decline of bees must be halted but in the interim, there are drones, robo-bees as it were that are now in use to collect pollen particles and to fly into the next flower and rub the pollen off. The robo-bees are being controlled manually at the moment but the team that created them has said that they are developing autonomous bees using the power of AI.

While it isn’t the ideal solution it is A solution and one that may save both the bees and mankind in the long haul.

Will Tech Companies be the Next Big Car Companies?

It’s no secret that connected cars are already on the market. When it comes to IoT it doesn’t get much more controversial than the autonomous vehicle.  These connected vehicles however are a different story. While the self driving vehicle is causing consternation from young people to older people, connected cars are something that the world seems to be ready to embrace. Nevermind that some of them have already been hacked and will likely be so again, people want them and the demand has dramatically increased for connected vehicles that make people’s lives easier.

Over the course of the past year these cars have become much more connected and are creating a really good income for the auto makers. What’s more as internet technology grows and advances, the automobile as we know it will be vastly different and will continue to become more controversial.

The next decade alone is projected to change the way that we drive, the way that we travel and the entire car ownership experience.

A new report from BI Intelligence examines every aspect of the  metamorphosis of the car, inclusive of the market, the benefits, the consumer response and demand as well as strategies and projections.

Some of the key elements of this report are:

Connection is offering new and clear business opportunities

Consumers are adopting the cars and adapting to them much more rapidly than anyone had dared to dream.

More than 380 million connected vehicles will be traveling our roads by  2021 and many of them will be self driving. The market is nearly guaranteed because automakers who are creating vehicles today plan to connect most of what they have on the market in the next two years alone.

Completely autonomous cars are only a few years in the future and all of us may be “driving” them quite shortly. Technical companies are playing a huge role in the development of automobiles. Which begs the question,  in the new future are we going to see tech companies which are actually developing and manufacturing cars?

The Risks of Tech Innovation—Do They Stand up to the Rewards?

Connected vehicles and self-driving automobiles sounds a lot like science fiction doesn’t it? The reality is that even though it sounds like something out of a Jules Verne book, we’re already using them and we’re seeing massive benefits to both the driver as well as the companies who are using them.

What’s the Down Side?

Autonomous vehicles do have a down side in that they can be hijacked or hacked as we have seen happen in the past. The many naysayers of the technology cite the hacking of automobiles and the bad technology that allowed motorcycles to stop in mid traffic, causing accidents in the past.

It is very possible that loads of goods could be stolen via a hacker or hijacker and that goods that are not meant to be publicly available could become so. This is a real concern and one that car makers and autonomous vehicle creators are addressing.  There is simply nothing out there that cannot be hacked.

What’s the Up Side?

These cars and other vehicles are offering the drivers a safer trip as well as a lower insurance cost and considerable data that is telling us more about how people use their cars and how to make them much safer along the way.

Analysis of the big data that we get from autonomous cars is also helping us to provide information for other technology and other innovation.

Autonomous technology is in broad use today. It’s being used  in many ways to help to make the world and people much safer.

Loads of items that are dangerous in nature may be driven by autonomous vehicles, keeping people much safer in their jobs.  As these autonomous vehicles become more popular and are used more frequently the data that they provide, both in amount and in type will change, giving us a better look at new ways to make the world safer and better for humankind. Is the risk worth the reward? Time will tell, but so far, the rewards seem to outweigh the risks.