On Watch

 In ITC's Threat of the Week

Sombre mood here today as the two minutes silence were observed on the Centenary of the Battle Of The Somme. 1.1Million casualties. Puts the current European squabbles into sharp relief, if ‘relief’ can be used in this context.

At our CloudBurst event this year, held at the monument to battles, squabbles and dirty dealings that is The Tower of London, we made a number of predictions for security trends in the coming year.  One of those predictions was:

More connections, more opportunity
As more devices are connected including cars, trucks and trains (what could possibly go wrong?), increasingly sophisticated attacks will be developed to breach them and use them to breach other connected devices over the secure control channels that they use.

Tragically a driver of a Tesla vehicle on ‘auto-pilot’ perished yesterday when his car changed lanes having not noticed an adjacent truck. There is no suggestion whatsoever of foul play but it is a harsh reminder of the consequences of systems failure, deliberate or otherwise. Our thoughts go out to the family of the driver, or ‘passenger’.

What is most certainly on the rise is the compromise of Internet Of Things devices connected directly to the Internet and either poorly secured or not secured at all with default passwords, insecure settings and vulnerable code.

This week there have been two separate announcements both involving seemingly innocuous cameras.

In the first, security outfit Securi investigated a massive DDOS attack against a Jewellery shop that had been taken down for days. During the investigation, they discovered that the attack, which was generating a peak of 50,000 HTTP requests per second, was originated from a network of compromised CCTV devices.

Located Globally with 24% in Taiwan, and 12% in the USA, followed by a number of other nations, something like 25,000 compromised CCTV devices were being controlled to execute this attack.

You can read the detail here.

In other news, DDOS specialists Arbor have been looking into the over 100 botnets controlled by the infamous Lizard Squad’s DDOS Toolkit LizardStresser and have identified that the botnets predominately consist of compromised Internet of Things devices, mostly webcams, again either not secured at all, unpatched with vulnerable code or using the default admin credentials. Although an absolute number of compromised devices is not known, they are capable of generating up to 400 Gbps and sending them your way. Nasty.

You can read the Arbor research here.

If you have IoT devices at home or in your business, it is imperative that you change the default password to a complex alternative and if you can, make sure that they are running up to date firmware/software.  Where possible, don’t connect them directly to the outside of the Internet – protect them with a firewall as you would your other devices.

As DDOS attacks grow in quantity and volume, it would be prudent to take precautions to prevent business critical systems accessed via the Internet, including remote access for you staff, from being taken down.

Protecting against DDOS is a complex task with a large number of solutions on the market with widely varying degrees of efficacy.  ITC has integrated a number of tools to provide comprehensive protection, delivered through our Netsure360° managed security platform.

If you would like to discuss DDOS, Internet of Things security or anything security related, do get in touch! Contact us at: [email protected] or call us on 020 7517 3900.

Check back next week for our mid-year review when we will be having our homework marked. Will it be the Headmaster’s study or a Gold Star?

Author: Kevin Whelan

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