The IoT – Hacking In, Hacking Out

The whole Internet of Things (IoT) is based on wireless connectivity. Now, I don’t use wireless much; we have everything hard-wired because I don’t want to live in a microwave bath 24/7. Plus, why would I even want my refrigerator talking to the Internet?

But the biggest reason is because it’s a security hole. Most of these new IoT devices come out of the factory with little concern for security, then talk to the cloud constantly.

Home wireless remote control

thumbnail courtesy of venturebeat.com

Every unsecured IoT device can act as an entry point to your household as well as your online assets. Intruders can even use the Internet of Things to open your front door from the inside — literally. While the trend grows unabated, more more consumers are starting to worry about what a fully connected home means for their security and privacy. The IoT is the Internet of Easy Home Hacking

Unless wireless devices are password protected and encrypted from end to end, they’re vulnerable. Hundreds of thousands have already been hacked. They were recently used in a massive denial of service attack on a DNS provider.

The attackers apparently used tens of thousands of hacked internet of things devices—household appliances such as digital video recorders, security cameras, and internet routers—to generate a massive amount of digital traffic. That digital noise was sent to Dyn, a domain name service provider used by major online companies, disrupting its ability to translate human-readable internet addresses into the IP addresses networks use to route traffic.

The attack came after years of warnings from security experts that the makers of many internet-enabled devices paid too little attention to security, shipping internet-connected hardware with preset passwords, insecure default connections, and other vulnerabilities. View the full story… fastcompany.com

So hacked devices can cause havoc inside your house and outside your house. They are starting to come out with security appliances that cover wireless like the CUJO Wireless Firewall I found on Amazon, but it doesn’t look like it’s quite ready for prime time.

A better solution for a home office or small business might be a VPN enabled router like the ZyXEL ZyWALL USG20W Wireless Internet Security Firewall which is good for up to 5 PCs and may (no guarantees) help to keep your Internet of Things secure (if you keep it in your refrigerator).