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4 ways cyber attackers may be hacking your IoT devices

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Is your refrigerator running… a targeted DDoS attack without your knowledge? If it’s connected to Wi-Fi, it very well might be.

Many (too many) of the connected devices that make up the Internet of Things (IoT) are extremely easy to hack. New IoT devices are being designed and released every day — from consumer items, like light bulbs and automobiles to industrial equipment, like drones and entire power plants. But many of these devices are built little-to-no security in place.

“IoT devices are simply computers and can be hacked in any ways that a traditional computer could be hacked,” says Patrick Wardle, director of research for Synack, a cybersecurity company. Even more alarming, because IoT devices are often connected directly to the internet, they can be accessed by attackers all over the world, explained Wardle.

Developers who don’t want to see their creations in the hands of cyber attackers need to make security a top priority from the beginning. “The advice I give our customers,” says Pat Wilbur, chief technology officer at Hologram, a cellular platform for IoT, “is to design your IoT product or platform assuming that the worse possible scenario can happen and may happen.”

To know more about what the worst-case IoT security scenarios are, here are a few common ways that attackers are hijacking IoT devices:

1. Mass vulnerability probing

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