Cybersecurity threats and privacy invasion are daily news with Snowden, Assange, WikiLeaks and foreign hackers breaking into government, political, health, banking and other sites. From the Sony breach to the DNC hacking — cyberpunks aim to steal intellectual property, intelligence and information.
Cyber attacks will get more challenging in the always-on Internet of Things (IoT) connected universe. Thousands of new devices vulnerable to cyber attacks are being attached to the internet, many running low-power processors incapable of supporting sophisticated security. And many embedded devices continue to operate for years after their last software patch.
In October, traffic at websites including Twitter, Spotify and PayPal was slowed or stopped, because they were flooded with internet traffic. This DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack reportedly used internet-enabled cameras from Hangzhou Xiongmai Technology, a Chinese electronics component manufacturer. The attackers exploited weak or manufacturer set passwords that hadn’t been reset by users. Malware known as Mirai took advantage of these vulnerabilities by infecting the devices and using them to launch massive DDoS attacks, deluging websites and taking them offline.