Hackers use decade old vulnerability to attack Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) has the opportunity to reinvent how we visualize the internet, but it also comes with a variety of challenges, including the threat of hackers devastating lives or destroying a business’s assets.

This chaotic future may already be upon us, according to researchers at Incapsula. The DDoS protection provider showed a 12-year old flaw on OpenSSH to attack IoT devices, which lack common security practices like unique addresses and strong passwords.

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Hackers are able to create botnets with this OpenSSH vulnerability, acquiring the processing power from IoT devices to hack large websites, government platforms, and other secure locations.

One of the most popular botnets is Mirai, which is open source for hackers and researchers. The botnet not only hijacks computers, it fills them with malware and corrupts the system.

Hackers know speed to market kills

Some IoT developers take security seriously, but it is clear a few of the devices and applications on the market today do not go through minimal security analysis before being shoved onto the market.

This is worrisome, considering that IoT devices power our lights, our heating, and our doors. Hackers move from an online menace that can change your Facebook photo and Google account password to a real life horror, opening doors at night and freezing your pipes.

Researchers predict a rise in attacks on IoT devices over the next 10 years, as smart home and low-power enterprise devices become more commonplace.