If you find your “smart” dishwasher or oven starts turning on & off, your washer/dryer lights flashing, or your webcam enabled vacuum chasing you around the house…You probably have a poltergeist! No…totally kidding….but you might be a victim of a hacker. There are vulnerabilities in over 1 MILLION smart connected home devices. These devices are hard to secure because they rely on a wide variety of operating systems, hardware and program languages- many which are now obsolete.
So maybe hacking into your refrigerator isn’t a hackers high priority, but devices like fitbits, smart tv’s, and especially voice activated assistants like Amazon’s Alexa & Google Assistant have huge vulnerabilities and are quite easy to invade.
In fact, it’s important to note that putting a mic in your home opens the possibility of hackers to spy on you. They could hear the details of your life, and learn a great detail about you; your habits, your opinions….so possibly, what you say in the “privacy” of your home could be used against you. In fact, there have been cases of conversations recorded and randomly sent to a person in their contact list.
So if you think it’s safe to badmouth a friend while cooking dinner……well, they could find out. Awkward.
So how are they doing it?
They hack into your gadget using the many vulnerabilities, then use your device to route malicious traffic for cyberattacks and exploit computer networks. Essentially hiding their identity and unlinking themselves from the entire attack. They can actually do this by using your devices IP address…the thing that identifies each computer using the Internet Protocol to communicate over a network.
It can be hard to detect if your gadgets have been compromised. A few things to watch for include:
- A huge spike in monthly internet usage
- Larger than normal internet bills
- If your devices suddenly become slow or inoperable
- Internet Connection gets slow
Here are a few tips to outsmart the cybercriminals:
- Change default usernames & passwords
- Isolate IoT devices from various network connections.
- Update and patch your IoT devices on a regular basis.
- Use the latest anti-virus software and make sure to keep it up to date.
- Configure network firewalls to block traffic from unauthorized IP addresses
Protecting your personal IoT devices is very important and should be a routine activity. As for a small business, your IoT devices like company smart phones, tablets and computers needs to be patched and protected even more so in today’s day and age. At Eckstrom Consulting, we can help you keep your business safe and secure with automatic updates, real time preventative maintenance and much more. To learn more give us a call at (406) 730-5105.