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Leaky IoT devices help hackers attack e-commerce sites

Maria Korolov | Oct. 13, 2016
Millions of IoT devices can be used to attack e-commerce and other websites

This particular vulnerability doesn't magnify the messages, but is simply used to forward them in order to hide their origin.

End users, meanwhile, should immediately change any default passwords they have for their devices, he said.

In addition, enterprises should scan their networks for vulnerable devices, since they can also be vectors for attacks against corporate networks.

Another problem, for both enterprise and home users, is that their IP addresses could get blacklisted as a result of the malicious activity, and there could be performance degradation as the fake messages eat up bandwidth.

Stopping the fake messages mid-way is tricky. Simply blocking all messages that come from IoT devices is not practical, he said, since routers are also IoT devices and are used for legitimate communications.

"We are working on device fingerprinting, to tell exactly what kind of device is doing this," he said.

Meanwhile, Akamai scores IP addresses for potential malicious activity and also looks for behaviors that indicate that messages are not coming from real people but from bots.

"Then we can initiate additional behaviors so that those attacks would fail," he said. For example, a second authentication screen could pop up.

According to Akamai, these types of attacks, which they call SSHowDowN Proxy attacks, come from surveillance cameras, satellite antenna equipment, routers, hotspots, modems and other networking devices, and Internet-connected storage devices.

In particular, they include NUUO Network video recorders, Intellian satellite antennas, GreenPacket WiMax routers, Ruckus hotspots, and Synology NAS devices.

 

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