What Are IoT Attacks? Unveiling the Dark Side of Connectivity

In the modern world, the Internet of Things (IoT) stands out as an incredibly adaptable technology. IoT is flexible and expandable because of the ubiquitous use of the Internet, growing network capabilities, and many linked devices. However, these characteristics also dramatically increase the vulnerability to cyber risks, such as IoT assaults. But what are IoT attacks?

What Are IoT Attacks

Continue reading to learn about IoT attack statistics, threats, and practical tips for securing your systems.

Short on Time? Here’s the Key Takeaway

  • IoT (Internet of Things) is versatile and adaptable due to internet connectivity and interconnected devices.
  • IoT attacks target systems that collect and exchange data from physical objects.
  • IoT vulnerabilities in the industry include Man in the Middle, eavesdropping, zero-day attacks, device spoofing, DDoS attacks, firmware manipulation, and malware attacks.
  • Man in the Middle (MitM) attacks intercept communication to steal sensitive data.
  • Eavesdropping involves hackers covertly monitoring networks using insecure IoT devices.
  • Zero-day attacks exploit unknown software flaws in IoT devices, making them hard to stop.
  • Device spoofing involves malicious devices impersonating trustworthy entities.
  • DDoS attacks flood networks, disrupting normal operations.
  • Firmware manipulation introduces malicious code through hidden entry points.
  • Malware attacks use malicious software to gain unauthorized access or spy on network activity.
  • Use a trusted VPN for secure browsing and evade IoT vulnerabilities in the industry.
  • Ensure DNS protection to prevent vulnerabilities.
  • Use tamper-resistant cases to protect devices physically.
  • Disable unnecessary app permissions.
  • Employ strong passwords to prevent unauthorized access.

Here’s a Quick Skim

  • What Are IoT Attacks?
  • What Are the Types of IoT Attacks?
  • What Causes an IoT Attack?
  • How to Protect Against IoT Attacks?

What Are IoT Attacks?

This type of cyberattack targets systems that enable data gathering and exchange from physical items, such as automobiles, buildings, and other objects.

IoT growth has significantly increased the likelihood of cyber hazards. And speaking of that, a Statista report states IoT attacks statistics – over 112 million Internet of Things (IoT) cyberattacks were conducted globally in 2022. The bar has dramatically climbed in recent years from the about 32 million identified cases in 2018.

What Are the Types of IoT Attacks?

IoT attacks are online crimes directed toward the Internet of Things hardware. And with the prevalence of IoT devices, businesses have been adapting them to streamline business procedures.

As per a report, in 2022, all business types in the United Kingdom had spent an average of 1,200 British pounds due to security breaches over the previous year and other recent IoT attacks. The effects of a cyberattack go beyond only the financial ones since it takes time for businesses to recover after such attacks.

With that said, here are the 7 types of IoT attacks:

1. Man in the Middle Attack (MiTM)

MitM attacks are often carried out to collect sensitive information and interrupt services. In this, a hacker intercepting the communication between two systems is the main focus of a Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attack.

The hacker pretends to be the original sender to trick the receiver into thinking they are getting valid communication. And according to research by F5, over 50% of MITM attacks in 2022 involved intercepting sensitive data, including login passwords and financial information.

2. Eavesdropping

Eavesdropping, by the name of it, refers to a cyberattack where IoT devices are used by cybercriminals to covertly monitor people’s networks while collecting sensitive data like login passwords and financial information. They may even listen to discussions in a room by being close by.

These devices’ operating networks, which are insufficiently secured or protected, are used for this manipulation.

3. Zero-day Attacks

In a zero-day assault, a hacker takes advantage of previously unknown software flaws in IoT devices that cybersecurity professionals haven’t patched. These attacks are perilous because there is no quick way to stop the breach while it is happening.

4. Device Spoofing

In a device spoofing attack, a malicious device impersonates a trustworthy entity by changing an actual device’s IP address, MAC address, or other identifying information. This type of attack mainly occurs in the forms of:

  • URL Spoofing
  • Email Spoofing
  • Website Spoofing

5. Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS)

“DDoS” refers to a method through which hostile actors flood a network with significant destructive traffic, impairing its regular operation and communication capabilities. This action stops the site’s functioning and obstructs the normal flow of genuine data packets.

6. Firmware Manipulation

Malicious code is introduced into a system through a covert entry point in the processor’s software during a firmware attack. These access points, often called backdoors, offer a mechanism for particular people to go over security measures and access the system. These backdoors’ complex design frequently makes them undetectable, but if hackers use them, they can have disastrous results.

7. Malware Attacks

Cybercriminals install malicious software on IoT devices to gain unauthorized access to data, manipulate equipment, or secretly watch network activity and conversations. While this type of cyberattack isn’t new to the ears, as per SonicWall’s 2023 Cyber Threat Report, malware attacks had their first uptick since 2018, increasing to 5.5 billion assaults, or 2% more than the previous year.

What Causes an IoT Attack?

IoT devices significantly improve the efficacy and ease of our daily activities, whether we are conducting them at home or work. While certain products, like computers, smartphones, and tablets, have reasonably good cybersecurity, others, like smart TVs or activity-tracking wearables, are more vulnerable.

Looking into the IoT attacks statistics, the following are the leading causes that might make your IoT devices tempting targets for hackers:

1. Out-of-Date Devices With DNS Vulnerabilities

Organizations widely use IoT to collect data from outdated equipment that lack modern security protections. However, integrating legacy devices with IoT exposes the network to flaws in these older gadgets – leading to the most recent IoT attacks. IoT setups with thousands of connected devices usually rely on DNS, a decentralized name system developed in the 1980s that may be unable to handle their size. Hackers can execute DDoS attacks and utilize DNS tunneling to obtain data or install malware by exploiting DNS flaws.

2. Public WiFi Connection

When linked to open or unprotected WiFi networks, devices become more susceptible to IoT vulnerabilities in industry and easier targets for hackers.

3. Lack of Data Encryption

IoT devices gather significant data as they monitor and record various variables, such as temperature and object velocity. Most of this data is sent to centralized locations for processing, analysis, and storage, which are frequently cloud-based. Additionally, these gadgets receive information regularly, which directs their operations.

This enables hackers to listen in on unencrypted data communications, obtain private or confidential information, and even use it on the dark web for nefarious purposes.

4. Physical Device Temperament

Hackers controlling physical devices pose an extra concern. Attackers must physically access IoT devices to steal data, inject malware by physical manipulation, or penetrate the device’s ports and internal components—all to access the company’s network.

How to Protect Against IoT Attacks?

Putting additional safeguards in place for your IoT devices is crucial, and we’ve clearly learned that from recent IoT attacks and IoT attacks statistics, especially when an IBM report states that data breaches containing theft or loss of credentials are more expensive and take longer to detect, costing $150,000 overall.

Here’s how you can stay on the safe side! Take the following measures to ensure complete safety from IoT vulnerabilities in industry:

1. Use a VPN

A VPN allows you to connect to a server and spoof your original location, and this way, you can better protect the data on your devices from being intercepted.

It’s best only to use a trusted VPN, like FastestVPN. It enables you to uninterruptedly browse the Internet without worrying about data theft or privacy leaks – what the Internet is notoriously known for.

With premium features like the AES 256-bit protection, WireGuard protocol, and the availability of 600+ servers, take the browsing freedom into your hands.

2. Ensure DNS Protection

Implementing DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC) enables IT managers to stop DNS vulnerabilities from endangering IoT security. Digital signatures are used in these specifications to ensure the precision and integrity of DNS data. DNSSEC confirms that an IoT device connecting to the network for a software update gets to its intended location without being maliciously redirected.

Meanwhile, businesses must update protocol standards like MQTT and check whether network-wide compatibility can be achieved. IT managers may improve security by using several DNS providers to maintain continuity and offer more protection.

3. Use Temper-resistant Device Cases

Organizations should encapsulate devices in tamper-resistant containers and remove any device-related information that manufacturers could imprint on components, such as passwords or model numbers, to improve physical security safeguards.

Contrariwise, IoT developers should include conductors in the multi-layered circuit board to prevent easy access by hackers. A device should have a disabling feature in case of tampering, such as creating a short circuit when opened.

4. Disable Unnecessary App Permissions

Many gadgets come pre-configured with capabilities like remote access activated. To reduce potential access points for hackers, it is suggested to remove specific abilities if they are not required.

5. Use Strong Passwords

IoT devices’ default or readily guessable login credentials make them vulnerable to cyberattacks. Use specific and complex credentials for each device to prevent an IoT attack.

FAQs - What Are IoT Attacks?

Can IoT devices be hacked?

IoT can be hacked, and these devices are more vulnerable to hacking since these Internet-connected gadgets act as a hub for managing and controlling other devices in a network and holding helpful information.

What are the top attacks on IoT? IoT attacks examples

In 2017, the Mirai botnet attacked multiple websites with a well-coordinated DDoS operation, resulting in severe damage. Following this attack, several iterations of the Mirai botnet appeared. Notably, one of the aggressive recent IoT attacks includes the Lemon Duck assault. It is one example of how well-known botnets have recently been used to shift computing resources for Bitcoin mining.

Final Note

IoT devices have become essential, and businesses mainly invest in them to streamline their procedures and create a smooth pipeline flow. However, this comes with its fair share of risks – IoT attacks.

To mitigate these attacks, investing in solutions that help you stay safe from significant losses in an IoT attack is crucial. We recommend always using a trusted VPN, like FastestVPN, to stay safe from these assaults and browse the Internet like never before.

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