Concerns over Internet Security Well Founded
Is your refrigerator allowing hackers into your bank account? The connection of devices that are meant to make life one big digital handshake can become a backdoor into your life. This problem has long been anticipated according to writer Lily Hay Newman in a wired.com story:
YOU KNOW BY now that Internet of Things devices like your router are often vulnerable to attack, the industry-wide lack of investment in security leaving the door open to a host of abuses. Worse still, known weaknesses and flaws can hang around for years after their initial discovery. Even decades. And Monday, the content and web services firm Akamai published new findings that it has observed attackers actively exploiting a flaw in devices like routers and video game consoles that was originally exposed in 2006.
Basically, many of the appliances that we have turned on still lack proper protocols to deny outside prying eyes and invasive commands of hackers. These include “Universal Plug and Play,” which allow attackers to exploit access and do dirty work that includes launching into DDoS attacks, malware distribution, spamming/phishing/account takeovers, click fraud and credit card theft.
To pull that off, hackers are using UPnP weaknesses in commercial routers and other devices to reroute their traffic over and over again until it’s nearly impossible to trace. This creates elaborate “proxy” chains that cover an attacker’s tracks, and create what Akamai calls “multi-purpose proxy botnets.”
Now some of this is actually happening, when for quite a while it was warned against as a possibility.
Newman’s article is chockfull of information on this issue, useful to anyone plugged into the internet through a device.