Recent IoT development and its ability to diversify its services have made it among the fastest-growing technologies in the current age. As a result, they have had a considerable impact on business and social life environments. However, due to this diversification of IoT infrastructure, there has been even higher demand created for robust security responses to suit the demand of millions or even billions of connected devices and services on the IoT ecosystem. Here, we cover among the common cybersecurity attacks that IoT faces. These include:
Encryption attacks are common to IoT devices. For these attacks, an unencrypted device makes it possible for an attacker to capture data through sniffing. Once an encryption key is attained or unlocked by the attacker, they can control the system by installing malicious code. To mitigate this type of attack, it is recommended to use high-end encryption standards to secure communication within IoT devices.
The physical attacks basically involve having physical access to the IoT device. Suppose not physically secured, and the device gets accessed by an attacker. In that case, they can perform a physical oriented attack such as using flash drives to insert malicious code and spread to the malware, for instance, over the network hence infecting other devices connected as well. To prevent this kind of attack, it is recommended to add an AI-based security measure that ensures the device and data are protected and secure the device physically where possible. It is also recommended to have a dedicated network for IoT devices.
Denial of Service Attacks (DOS)
DOS attacks usually cause create unavailability of resources of a given system over a certain period or permanently. For IoT, botnets can be used to target a device and make it slow down the performance or completely render its resources unavailable. This is made possible as IoT devices rely on the network infrastructure to communicate and provide services. To mitigate this, it is recommended to secure the network infrastructure where the IoT devices reside to add a layer of security.
IoT is still a fairly new concept, and due to this reason, flaws are likely to occur on the IoT devices' firmware. These flaws can be used by attackers, given that most of the hardware makers rarely sign the embedded firmware cryptographically. Therefore, it is recommended to perform firmware updates whenever possible as most of the firmware updates are meant to patch these flaws.
In 2016, a widely reported IoT devices attack which was dabbed as Mirai attack, performed a Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDOS) using hundreds of thousands of IoT devices. Mirai is malware that is designed to turn devices that are networked into bots. The attack continues till to date. Some attackers use these botnets for other purposes such as crypto mining.
Escalation of Privilege attacks.
For these attacks, the intruders search for weaknesses and bugs in IoT devices that can allow them to gain resource access that is usually protected by a user profile or an application. The intruder then proceeds to gain these privileges and uses them to perform all sorts of operations, including stealing confidential data or deploying malware.
Other attacks are also honorable mentions when it comes to IoT, including MITMA (Man in the Middle Attacks), which essentially occur when an attacker intercepts communication between two devices, Ransomware, Eavesdropping, and brute force attacks, which are geared towards attaining passwords to the IoT devices through guessing the correct password.
It is vital to perform cybersecurity audits for your IoT devices whenever possible to be aware of potential vulnerabilities that expose your devices to attacks. Actions to improve the security of these devices should be taken, and any other additional steps to always keep your devices protected.