Internet-Connected Devices Need Better Security – Even Your Crock-Pot

Several years ago, bed bugs in the fanciest of New York City hotels put thousands of travelers on edge. Pest services made a lot of money, as did retailers who sold bedding products. Bugs are back, but instead of infecting mattresses and pillowcases, they’ve worked their way into devices that are part of the Internet of Things (IoT). Many of today's connected devices, from connected crock-pots to refrigerators, are riddled with security flaws, leaving them vulnerable to attacks, according to research by Scott Tenaglia and Joe Tanen from Invincea Labs in Virginia.

A good example of this was the recent string of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks that used hundreds of thousands of internet-connected devices to take down popular websites like Twitter, Netflix, Spotify and others.

In a Motherboard article by reporter Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, the researchers point out that while consumers might not particularly care if their toasters or DVRs are part of an army of zombie computers that can take down websites, they probably will have a different opinion about their smart appliances if hackers can use them to get into their smartphones.

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“The insecurity of my [Internet of Things device] now affects the security of another device I own, something that I probably care a lot more about than my IoT,” Tenaglia said. 

Read the full Motherboard story here.