At this year’s Black Hat USA conference, the focus on the growing security risks that come with the proliferation of connected devices was a hot topic.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday (Aug. 1) that the Internet of Things and the looming security vulnerabilities that may come with it were top of mind during the week-long gathering of the global information security community.
Conference organizers told WSJ that, for this year’s event, they received 50 proposals for seminars related to hacking IoT devices. Of those 50, 13 were accepted.
As hackers continue to set their sights on IoT, attendees are looking to presentations to learn more about the growing security risks.
WSJ reported that some of the presentations on IoT security include how a computer worm can infest a network of smart lightbulbs, how medical systems can be hacked and how advanced ATM skimming devices may be able to steal funds in a matter of minutes.
Earlier this year, the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology (ICIT) think tank found that ransomware being pointed at IoT is inevitable because connected devices present a significant opportunity to launch further attacks, ZDNet reported.
ICIT calls the rise of malware an “epidemic,” with the IoT remaining particularly at risk to increasing threats. The report suggests that connected devices alone provide a wide range of potential targets — from vehicles to wearables and even health devices, like pacemakers.
“The scenario is not too far-fetched; in fact, it is much more deadly. Many medical devices, such as pacemakers, insulin pumps and other medication dispersion systems, are internet- or Bluetooth-enabled. Ransomware could utilize that open connection to infect the IoT device,” the report explained.