Steve Olshansky, Robin Wilton

Author Archives: Steve Olshansky, Robin Wilton

Internet of Things Devices as a DDoS Vector

As adoption of Internet of Things devices increases, so does the number of insecure IoT devices on the network. These devices represent an ever-increasing pool of computing and communications capacity open to misuse. They can be hijacked to spread malware, recruited to form botnets to attack other Internet users, and even used to attack critical national infrastructure, or the structural functions of the Internet itself (we give several examples from recent headlines in the Reference Section, below).

The problem this poses is what to do about IoT as a source of risk. This blog post includes reflections on events that came to light in recent weeks, sets out some thoughts about technical mitigations, and sketches out the boundaries of what we think can be done technically. Beyond those boundaries lie the realms of policy measures, which – while relevant to the big picture – are not the topic of this post.

Why are we exploring this issue now? Partly because of our current campaign to improve trust in consumer IoT devices.

And partly, also, because of recent reports that, as a step towards mitigating this risk, connected devices will be subjected to active probing, to detect whether or not they Continue reading