Webcams, computers, and phones hit by cyber attack every 5 minutes

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Netscout, a Massachusetts based cyber security services provider has discovered in its research that Webcams, computers, and smartphones are hit by cyber attacks every 5 minutes before a new device gets added to the network.

The study says that the attacks were similar to that of Mirai; a malicious program that caused mayhem in 2016 by taking control of over 600,000 devices to use them as launch pads to denial of service attacks on websites like Netflix, Airbnb, and Twitter.

As the smartphones are getting sophisticated with latest Android systems, they may get immune to such attacks in near time. But other ‘Internet of Things’ devices such as webcams, digital video recorders, and printers will remain vulnerable.

“Open public Wi-Fi networks are like welcome signs to hackers,” said Matt Bing, the Principal Security Analyst, Netscout. He added that his company’s analysis saw over 20,000 login attempts in just 1 day.

Netscout’s latest security report highlights the fact of how botnets are being used by hackers to conduct cyber attacks. And with the use of Artificial Intelligence, the attack vertical will definitely become sophisticated.

Note- Mirai was a malicious program developed by Paras Jha, a computer tech student from New Jersey, USA. The said guy used the program to delay his calculus exam by attack the University’s website a few hours before the start of the exam. In order to throw the minds of the investigators into splits, the guy released the Mirai source code online, leading to numerous imitators who now have taken control of thousands of botnets across the world.

Netscout drew the attention of such imitators by setting up honeypots, which are fake connections designed to look like vulnerable devices. This is how the researchers could record every attempt made by the hackers and come to the conclusion that almost all connected devices are being cyber attacked within a 5 minutes time frame.

Since most of the IoT device users are still using default passwords provided by the OEMs; they are giving cybercrooks easy access to invade people’s homes.

Bing suggests that the devices can be secured only when they are being connected to the web through a firewall or via a home router. Also, he is stressing on the fact to connect the devices to a network only when needed.