Another reminder of the potential risks associated with the Internet of Things (IoT)

Internet of Things, or IoT, is the concept in which everyday objects such as lightbulbs, thermostats, garage door openers, etc. are imbued with network connectivity and the capability for communicating with other devices. But just as is the case with our computers and other networked devices, security is an increasingly critical factor.

This was made abundantly clear when the BrickerBot malware hit the scene. Catalin Cimpanu, of reports:

If you’re unfamiliar, BrickerBot is a new malware family that was first identified at the start of the month by Radware researchers. The malware made headlines because it was the first threat of its kind that intentionally bricked IoT and networking devices, by rewriting the flash storage space of affected devices with random data.

After successfully made contact with the developer behind the hacks, this is what he had to say:

The IoT security mess is a result of companies with insufficient security knowledge developing powerful Internet-connected devices for users with no security knowledge. Most of the consumer-oriented IoT devices that I’ve found on the net appear to have been deployed almost exactly as they left the factory.


I hope that regulatory bodies will do more to penalize careless manufacturers since market forces can’t fix this problem. The reality of the market is that technically unskilled consumers will get the cheapest whitelabel DVR they can find at their local store, then they’ll ask their nephew to plug it into the Internet, and a few minutes later it’ll be full of malware. At least with ‘BrickerBot’ there was some brief hope that such dangerous devices could become the merchant’s and manufacturer’s problem rather than our problem.