In the News

It is not only computers, tablets and mobile phones that hackers can tap in attempts to steal valuable information. The increasing number of everyday objects connected to the web — the so-called internet of things (IoT) — also present tantalising opportunities for cyber thieves.
The Nature of Printer Attacks
Previous generations of printers were equipped with read-only memory, making them less vulnerable to hacking or reprogramming. But modern printers have entire operating systems and writable memory, not to mention the convenience of downloadable apps and online firmware updates. These improvements make blending our physical and digital lives easier and more accessible than ever. They also create potential access points where hackers can insert malicious code to gain access to a network and its sensitive data.
The strangest connected devices are showing up, and the threats they pose to security should not be overlooked.

Playbooks for incident response at most organizations are unlikely to include provisions for breaches caused by Internet-connected teddy bears and exercise machines — but they soon might have to.
Since February 2020, there has been a 600% increase in phishing. 67% of businesses have experienced an IoT security incident. 55% of organizations plan to increase IT/OT alignment.

As businesses continue to work from home, security polices and procedures must be implemented to reflect the shift. Such policies and procedures should include disaster recovery plans. Having a business disaster plan in place, is one of the best ways to prepare for disasters of all kinds.
Accessing IoTs like printers means that a remote actor could exfiltrate the data of other printing requests concerning documents that contain confidential, sensitive, or classified information. Moreover, the actors could potentially plant botnets and use the IoTs as members of their DDoS swarms.

  • There’s still a large number of unprotected IoTs and, more specifically, internet-enabled printers.
  • A team of researchers hijacked a sample of them to print out instructions on how to secure them.
  • The potential consequences of leaving printers open to remote access are various.

    • Changing the default setting Generally, IoT devices come with default settings including a standard username, password, and more. Most of the time, device default settings benefit hackers to get access to the devices. For hacking devices, hackers try to guess the default names, IDs, and device internal settings, it is important to customize the settings and prevent it from being easily guessed.
    • Securing password with two-factor authentication (2FA) It is important to use two-factor authentication for accessing the device because it works as an extra security layer. As the 2FA process requires the user to submit OTP (one-time-password) to grant access to the device which is system generated and presented to the user in a confidential way. It protects the system from unauthorized access and reduces its vulnerability to cyber-attacks. It is recommended to set a strong password with a unique combination of numbers, symbols, uppercase letters, and lowercase letters.
    • Disabling UPnP feature UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) feature allows any IoT device to connect with other devices. For example, a smart bulb can be connected to voice-command-based devices such as Google Home and Alexa. It is important to disable the UPnP feature so that an attacker cannot get access to other systems should they succeed in hacking one device.
    • Updating devices regularly Many manufacturers of IoT devices release security features to protect the user’s privacy from cyber attacks. Users need to update the device regularly to protect their data from ever-evolving cyber-attack patterns if and when an update for their device is made available.
    • Avoid using public WiFi networks If you manage your IoT device remotely through a smartphone or other device, it is recommended that you avoid using public WiFi networks. To avoid the vulnerability to cyber-attack that using public WiFi networks can pose, you can make use of a VPN. There are VPN service providers that offer several security features for the public and to home WiFi networks.
    Trend Micro published a threat report called Uncovering IoT Threats in the Cybercrime Underground that outlined many interesting discoveries about threat groups targeting IoT devices and offered predictions for the coming months.

    While the underground groups reflect differing interests, skills and languages, they have commonalities that should sound alarms to custodians of SCADA and ICS installations throughout the energy, communications, transportation and manufacturing sectors.
    Researchers set up a tempting honeypot to monitor how cyber criminals would exploit it. Then it came under attack.
    Security is the Achilles Heel of IoT, and IoT may be the Achille’s heel of today’s enterprise networks.

    Those are the conclusions of two recent industry surveys, which are sounding the alarm over the vulnerability of IoT devices to tampering, hacking or other incidents.
    Forty-four percent of small business owners say they plan to invest in resources related to the Internet of Things, according to the Q1 2020 CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey.

    Yet only 20% of respondents say they plan to invest in cybersecurity software.

    Experts say small businesses that lack a serious component of cybersecurity are taking a big risk.
    Researchers warn that there's more and more unauthorised connected devices on corporate networks - and that they could provide easy pickings for cyber criminals.
    According to a survey conducted by Extreme Networks in 2019, seven in 10 organizations have reported either a successful or attempted hack to their systems via their Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Extreme Networks recently released the results of a survey that examined the view of 540 IT professionals on network security. The report revealed that organizations lack confidence in their network security and underestimate insider threats.
    More than 2,300 building access systems can be hijacked due to a severe vulnerability left without a fix.

    Hackers are actively searching the internet and hijacking smart door/building access control systems, which they are using to launch DDoS attacks, according to firewall company SonicWall.
    Employees are bringing their own Internet of Things connected devices to the workplace and could be putting organizations at risk from cyberattacks because enterprise security teams aren't always aware that these devices are connected to the network.
    According to researchers at Netlab 360, a new botnet is actively spreading its network using unpatched Wi-Fi routers such as D-Link, Huawei, Netgear, called as Mozi, it’s using telnet to exploit systems with weak passwords and adds every device into its network with a final goal of performing DDoS attack.
    The Internet of Things (IoT) is driving transformational change in IT infrastructures. Connecting everything — printers, medical devices, cameras, industrial devices, door locks, cars, etc. — to the network, the cloud or both is creating a vast, porous security perimeter.
    From smart thermostats, which can change the temperature remotely, to intelligent lighting, controlled and adjusted from almost any smart phone or internet connected device, the addition of smart technology within a building creates an array of new access points from IoT devices. This ultimately means that when offices turn their workplaces into smart buildings, attackers have an even larger range of entry points to gain access to organizations’ networks.
    You probably know by now about rampant insecurity in Internet of Things devices. You've likely even heard about vulnerabilities in desk phones specifically. Security research into the devices—and the potential for hackers to take them over, turn them into listening devices, or use them as jumping off points to take over corporate networks—has been going on for years. But even in security it seems that no good deed goes unpunished.
    Security vulnerabilities in popular internet-connected digital cameras could allow hackers to infect them with ransomware, rendering the devices useless, or deploy other forms of malware which could potentially turn a camera into a gateway for infecting larger networks.
    Most IoT cyberattacks result in downtime, compromised data, end-user safety, brand or reputational damage, or a loss of intellectual property, according to a new Irdeto report.
    Cyberattacks on IoT devices surged 300% this year. Over 2.9 billion events were observed by one security provider’s global network of honeypots in first half of 2019. It was the first time the provider had ever measured billions of attacks occurring over a 6-month period.
    Researchers Say Mirai Derivatives and EternalBlue Exploits Pummel Internet-Connected Devices
    Hackers are a resourceful bunch, and they'll look for any weakness that can be exploited to break in to a computer network. Once they're in, they'll use any available method to get the data they discover out.