Malware targeting the Internet of Things

When we talk about malware or cyber attacks, we only tend to think about PCs or phones. They certainly are the most affected since they are the most widely used devices, which is why cyber criminals target them. However, threats are not exclusive to these devices. Malware threats targeting the Internet of Things have grown exponentially, affecting a lot of us given that we use more devices as time passes by. 

There are more malware threats targeting the Internet of Things

Such threats have grown three-fold in comparison to last year. According to stats from Kaspersky, over 120,000 malware attacks affecting Internet of Things devices have been detected. What devices are those? They are mainly routers, printers, TVs and even smart washing machines connected to the network. We already know there are now more and more appliances that can be connected in some way to the internet to make everything easier. Cyber criminals find these devices an interesting target because they are always, or most of the time, connected to the Internet. The router and the TV are the perfect examples because they are always on but the protection we provide for them is not always the best.

How to protect our devices form malware

Protection is actually the thing users fail at. According to Kaspersky, one of the best antivirus, 93% of detected attacks are  brute-force password attacks. Users can perfectly avoid this. The main advice is to have a different password for each of these devices. Using default passwords is not enough because cyber criminals can easily crack them. Easy passwords containing our names and any personal information are also not an option. We have to create a strong, complex password that has letters (uppercase and lowercase letters if possible), numbers and other special characters. By doing so, passwords are much harder to crack.

Users usually think a device such as a TV is not in danger and cannot be infected by malware. This is why most users forgo any precautions and leave everything by default, including the password. However, these devices are actually a major focus point for cyber criminals. In fact, and as we said above, the number of attacks on these devices has grown three-fold the last year.

Another really important advice is to always keep our devices up-to-date. Sometimes some vulnerabilities come up, which can prompt attacks. However, manufacturers launch security patches to mitigate them. This is why it is recommended to always install the latest versions and be aware of any possible updates. These devices should always get software from official stores and sites, therefore avoiding software programs that might have been maliciously modified.