Malware 'loving' smart devices
By hacking IoT devices criminals are able to spy on people, blackmail them and even discreetly make them partners in crime.
Dubai - Virus designed specifically for this task on the rise, warns Kaspersky Lab
Hackers across the globe are increasingly targeting smart devices, with the number of malwares designed specifically for this task on the rise, security experts say.
The total number of malware samples targeting smart devices has reached more than 7,000, with over half of these emerging in 2017, according Kaspersky Lab's researchers.
With over six billion smart devices being used across the globe, people are increasingly being put at risk from malware targeting their connected lives.
Due of the large number and variety of smart devices in our lives today, the Internet of Things (IoT) has become an attractive target for cyber-criminals.
By successfully hacking IoT devices, criminals are able to spy on people, blackmail them and even discreetly make them their partners in crime.
What's worse, botnets such as Mirai and Hajime have indicated that the threat is on the rise.
Approximately 63 per cent of the attacks registered by Kaspersky Lab's experts targeted digital video recorders or IP cameras, and 20 per cent of hits were against network devices, including routers, and DSL modems, etc.
About one per cent of targets were people's most common devices, like printers and smart home devices.
According to experts, the reason behind the rise is simple: the IoT is fragile and exposed in the face of cyber-criminals.
The vast majority of smart devices are running operating systems based on Linux, making attacks on them easier because criminals can write generic malicious code that targets a huge number of devices simultaneously.
"The issue of smart device security is serious and one that we should all be aware of. Last year showed that it is not just possible to target connected devices, but that this is a very real threat," said Vladimir Kuskov, security expert at Kaspersky Lab.
"We have seen a huge increase in IoT malware samples, but the potential is even greater. Apparently, high competition in the market of DDoS attacks is pushing attackers to search for new resources that will help them make increasingly powerful attacks," Kuskov added.
What makes the issue dangerous is its potential reach. According to industry experts, there are already more than six billion smart devices across the globe. More importantly, most of them do not even have a security solution and their manufacturers usually do not produce any security updates or new firmware.
China at 17 per cent, Vietnam at 15 per cent, and Russia at eight per cent emerged as the top three countries with attacked IoT devices, each presenting a large number of the infected machines. Brazil, Turkey, and Taiwan all follow at seven per cent each.