Security concerns prevalent before hack attack on Dyn

MANCHESTER — Americans were leery of someone hacking their internet-enabled security systems and webcams even before last week’s massive hacker attack on Dyn, a Millyard company that helps direct internet traffic.

“Nearly one quarter of consumers have an internet-connected device such as a thermostat or appliance in their home and use an app to control it,” said a statement outlining the survey results from IT security firm ESET, which collaborated with the National Cyber Security Alliance.

But more than 40 percent reported they were “not confident at all” that devices that can connect to the internet are safe, secure and able to protect personal information.

Last week, Dyn officials reported that hackers launched massive attacks against their company’s infrastructure, using tens of millions of internet-connected devices.

The attack affected popular websites as Twitter, Reddit and Spotify.

Dyn on Monday said it had no update on the situation other than to say: “At this moment, we’re conducting our internal review on the situation.”

Chinese electronics firm Hangzhou Xiongmai announced Monday it was recalling home webcams in the United States after the company’s cameras were fingered as aiding in the attacks, according to the BBC. The company said hackers could commandeer the cameras because users had not changed the cameras’ default passwords.

The survey results revealed that Americans have not done enough to guard their personal information.

“While 85 percent know their webcams could potentially be accessed by unauthorized persons, 36 percent have not taken any preventive measures. And 29 percent believe their webcam has actually been accessed,” the survey statement said.

Suggestions to beef up security included changing the default password on your home router every three months and making sure you have updated the software for all devices and connected systems.

“While the router serves as the gateway to every connected device in the home, a near-majority haven’t taken the most basic steps to protect themselves” said the survey summary. “And nearly 80 percent have seven or more devices connected to their home router; however only 30 percent have changed the password from the factory default and another 20 percent can’t remember if they have.”

This year’s presidential race has seen WikiLeaks release waves of hacked emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta that among other things suggested that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton offered different positions while talking in public versus in private.

In 2010, Dyn, which had WikiLeaks as a client, cut ties after the WikiLeaks website had become the target of multiple distributed denial of service attacks.



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