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One-Fifth of IoT Device Owners Unaware of Mirai

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The lack of robust IoT security standards remains a significant issue as the number of devices continues to grow exponentially, according to a recent study from Trustlook—but consumer awareness of the threats remains low.

A Trustlook study, based on responses to a September 2017 survey, revealed that more than one-third (35%) of IoT device owners do not change the default password on their devices, leaving them vulnerable to attacks. Also, 54% of do not use a third-party security tool to protect their devices from outside threats.

This comes as the proliferation of IoT devices in 2017 continues, with 8.4 billion devices currently in use, and a total of 25 billion devices projected by 2020. The survey found that 41% of consumers own an IoT device, such as a smart refrigerator or fitness tracker.

And, as the use of these devices continues to increase, so do the associated risks. By 2020, it is estimated that 25% of cyber-attacks will target IoT devices. And indeed, in the past year there already have been a few high-profile IoT attacks. In July 2017, hackers were able to gain root access to a vulnerable Amazon Echo and add commands that secretly capture the raw microphone input. And last fall’s Mirai botnet, which targeted IoT devices, shut down a large part of the Internet.

Even so, in the survey, only 17% said that they know what Mirai is.

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