Security & Fraud

Is IoT The Next Ransomware Victim?

Cybercriminals are turning the attention of ransomware attacks to target the burgeoning market of connected devices.

According to the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology (ICIT) think tank, the fact that ransomware will be pointed at the Internet of Things (IoT) is inevitable because connected devices present a significant opportunity to launch further attacks, ZDNet reported on Monday (April 25).

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.

Of course, this isn’t the first we’ve heard about the growing cybersecurity threats facing IoT and the connected devices it powers.

Earlier this month, a new report from Bitdefender explained something that most tech consumers already know — that their smart thermometers, light switches and device hubs aren’t as secure as they could be — but in a way that might not be common knowledge.

In an in-depth breakdown of the security measures of four popular consumer IoT products, the software security company found that hackers often don’t have to do much hacking at all to turn IoT devices into ransomware bricks.

The authors of ICIT’s report said one of the most effective ways to combat the threat is through endpoint security. The report states: “The only defense is a layered defense, of which endpoint security is an essential layer and can offer a potent ingredient for next-gen cyberfortification.”

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