by Naief Budawelah | Student ID: @00508322
Blog Post – 6 /6
IoT Security (the Dark Side of the IoT)
The internet of the future will be measured in trillions of dollars, and the number of IoT devices connected to the internet will be measured in billions, and that number is a disruptive number in term of social impact in our life.
As IoT grows and becomes more advanced and much smaller day by day, it also opens the doors for a new security threat. While those devices are tiny and drain low energy and have low calculation horsepower CPU, thus making encryption on the other hand very complicated; which make it prone to hackers attacks.
Hackers have already made many attempts to download IoT devices with the DDoS attack, and they succeeded in many occasions. For example, in 2016 a malware hit surveillance DVR system, that malware called “Mirai” access vulnerable IoT devices using their weakness and surprisingly was the default password and usernames?!, this attack caused one of the biggest online hosting companies around the globe to shut down their services momentarily. (Dignan, 2016)
Moreover, the malware was an “open source” malware, which makes it even worse, because anyone with the evil intention on the internet can modify this malware to become his. Therefore, antivirus and security companies around the world work to find a cure for such as attack quickly, however the risk still there even with minimal impact.
Another example in the healthcare sector, CNN has reported, that FDA Agency found a vulnerability in cardiac IoT device in the major hospitals in the USA, where a hacker can gain access to that device and change the pacing rhythm or deplete the battery or apply a lethal shock to the patient. (Larson, 2017)
As IoT grows and becomes more advanced and much smaller day by day, it also opens the doors for a new security threat.
So, what about Android Things does this technology solves the security problem of IoT for good?
Indeed, but until Android Things become the norm of IoT devices, which I believe will take a long time until then. However, we still need to deal with this kind of attacks from time to time.
It is very similar to “Terminator” movie where machines attack humans after a virus infected “Skynet network”.
However, technology is also evolving, nowadays CPUs become smaller and smaller but much powerful than the CPUs and RISK processers of the 80’s and 90’s.
Figure 6.1 Mirai attack in 2016 (Grau, 2016)
IoT era is inevitable, and the advances in this field are significant. However, in any new technology, there are some challenges, but IoT technology will prevail and become the next human milestone since the stone age.
DIGNAN, L. 2016. Dyn confirms Mirai botnet involved in distributed denial of service attack [Online]. zdnet.com. Available: https://www.zdnet.com/article/dyn-confirms-mirai-botnet-involved-in-distributed-denial-of-service-attack/ [Accessed 22/6 2018].
GRAU, A. 2016. Mirai Botnet Shows Just How Vulnerable the IoT Really Is [Online]. www.iotsecurityfoundation.org. Available: https://www.iotsecurityfoundation.org/mirai-botnet-shows-just-how-vulnerable-the-iot-really-is/ [Accessed 22/6 2018].
LARSON, S. 2017. FDA confirms that St. Jude’s cardiac devices can be hacked [Online]. money.cnn.com: CNN. Available: http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/09/technology/fda-st-jude-cardiac-hack/index.html [Accessed 22/6 2018].