DDoS attacks almost double with IoT as target, says Corero

DDoS attacks almost double with IoT as target, says Corero

A 91 per cent increase is recorded in DDoS activity as criminals seize on unsecured IoT devices to launch attacks, according to Corero. 

Businesses are facing a surge in DDoS attacks with the number of episodes almost doubling over the last year, according to figures released by Corero.

The IT security company claims that organizations encountered an average of 237 DDoS attack attempts per month during the third quarter of 2017 – equivalent to eight DDoS attack attempts every day.

The data, based on DDoS attack attempts against Corero customers, represents a 35 per cent increase in monthly attack attempts compared to the previous quarter (Q2 2017).

It said the increase in frequency is because of the growing availability of DDoS-for-hire services, and the proliferation of unsecured IoT devices.

Ashley Stephenson, CEO at Corero, said that the growing availability of DDoS-for-hire services is causing an “explosion of attacks, and puts anyone and everyone into the crosshairs”.

Read more: New botnet could take down the internet in “cyberstorm”, says Check Point

Low barrier to entry

“These services have lowered the barriers to entry in terms of both technical competence and price, allowing anyone to systematically attack and attempt to take down a company for less than $ 100,” he said.

“Alongside this trend is an attacker arms race to infect vulnerable devices, effectively thwarting other attackers from commandeering the device.  Cyber criminals try to harness more and more Internet-connected devices to build ever larger botnets.  The potential scale and power of IoT botnets has the ability to create Internet chaos and dire results for target victims.”

According to the company’s latest DDoS Trends and Analysis report, hackers are using sophisticated, quick-fire, multi-vector attacks against organizational security. It said that a fifth of the DDoS attack attempts recorded during the second quarter of 2017 used multiple attack vectors. These attacks utilize several techniques in the hope that one, or the combination of a few, can penetrate the target network’s security defences.

“Despite the industry fascination with large scale, internet-crippling DDoS attacks,” said Stephenson, “the reality is that they don’t represent the biggest threat posed by DDoS attacks today.”

“Often lasting just a few minutes, these quick-fire attacks evade security teams and can sometimes be accompanied by malware and other data exfiltration threats. We believe they are often used in conjunction with other cyber attacks, and organisations that miss them do so at their peril.”

Read more: Connected transportation is lucrative but vulnerable, says ABI Research

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FDA recalls almost half a million pacemakers over hacking concerns

The FDA has put out a recall for almost half a million pacemakers over fears they are vulnerable to being hacked.

In an episode of TV show Homeland, terrorists plotted to hack the vice president’s pacemaker. At the time some may have found the idea ludicrous, but now it’s a very real possibility faced by nearly half a million people.

The pacemakers affected are manufactured by health company Abbott (formerly St. Jude Medical) and have been found to be vulnerable to a wireless attack. As pacemakers keep the heart pumping using wires going directly into the vital organ, it goes without saying how deadly such a hack could be.

Fortunately, the pacemakers do not need to be removed and can be updated within three minutes. However, affected patients need to have the update performed at their medical practice and not at home.

Pacemakers which are manufactured after August 28th will be pre-loaded with the new firmware. Anyone with the Accent, Anthem, Accent MRI, Assurity, Allure, or Assurity MRI models from the company manufactured prior to this date need to get their pacemakers updated as soon as possible.

In a handout (PDF) Abbott describes the vulnerability and risks:

“We have received no reports of device compromise related to the cybersecurity vulnerabilities in the implanted devices impacted by this communication. According to the Department of Homeland Security, compromising the security of these devices would require a highly complex attack. If there were a successful attack, an unauthorized individual (i.e., a nearby attacker) could gain access and issue commands to the implanted medical device through radio frequency (RF) transmission capability, and those unauthorized commands could modify device settings (e.g., stop pacing) or impact device functionality.”

Once again this hacking scare highlights the need for security to be a top priority as we make devices ever more connected.

What are your thoughts on the hacking concern? Let us know in the comments.

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Almost half of motorists believe connected cars improve road safety – and new research backs it up

A study into the attitudes of motorists towards connected cars has revealed almost half now believe they improve road safety, and new research backs it up.

Over 2,000 motorists were surveyed for insurance provider Aviva’s recent Connected Car Report. 49 percent gave “safer roads” as a reason for wanting a vehicle with autonomous features. However, the same percentage (49%) also said they wouldn’t use a driverless car at this point in time.

“As with any new technology, there is some nervousness about driverless cars, but many drivers admit this is because they don’t know enough about them, so any concerns will inevitably wane over time,” explains Paul Heybourne, Head of Digital Innovation Operations at Aviva. “Technology is evolving at an unprecedented pace, so it will be fascinating to see whether consumer adoption will match.”

A primary reason given for wanting driverless technologies was to free up time. More than a quarter (26%) responded they like the idea of being able to do other things in the car instead of driving.

“We’re a nation of car lovers and there’s a clear enthusiasm for technologies which improve the driving experience,” continues Heybourne.

Interestingly, just one in eight drivers said they’d choose a hybrid or electric vehicle for their next purchase. 68 percent still plan on purchasing a petrol or diesel car in spite of the sales ban in the UK and France by 2040.

Meanwhile, Toyota claims it performed independent calculations on accident data from the Institute for Traffic Accident Research and Data Analysis (ITARDA) and determined vehicles fitted with connected car technologies were much safer.

Vehicles equipped with Safety Sense experienced approximately 50 percent less rear-end collisions. Those also equipped with ICS (Intelligent Clearance Sonar) experience an approximately 90% reduction.

“It is only when such safety systems are in widespread use that they can have a real impact on eliminating traffic accidents and fatalities,” says Didier Leroy, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe. “That’s why Toyota has decided to launch the democratisation of advanced safety technologies in its cars.”

Safety Sense is a package of technologies which includes lane departure alerts, road sign assistance, pre-collision system, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control. ICS uses a clearance sonar to detect obstacles during sudden starts caused by pedal misapplication. When an obstruction is detected, and there is a possibility of a collision, automatic braking is applied.

“High-level driver-assist technologies such as these make driving easier and simpler,” continues Leroy. “They improve the driver’s perception of the traffic environment, their decision-making process and their overall safety skills”

While technology such as the aforementioned from Toyota currently represent semi-autonomous features, these results will further help to boost the confidence in automated technologies improving road safety as we continue on the road to driverless vehicles.

Do you think connected cars will improve road safety? Let us know in the comments.

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Apple R&D spends almost $3 billion on self-driving and AR


Apple increased its R&D investment to $ 2.94 billion in the third quarter of 2017, around 6.5 percent of the company’s total sales in the quarter. It is a large advancement on the past years, and shows Apple has a few things big planned in the coming years.

The most talked about, at least by Apple executives, is augmented reality. At WWDC 2017, it announced ARkit, a new SDK for developers to build mixed reality apps on iPhone and iPad. IKEA is one of the launch partners on iOS 11, turning its entire catalogue to highly realistic 3D images.

See Also: What are the scary ripple effects of autonomous mobility?

A patent for mixed reality glasses, able to pull real-time data on points of interest, show the potential next step for Apple. CEO Tim Cook said AR could be as big as the smartphone in an interview with The Independent, and reports suggest it is turning into a passion project for the company.

The company is moving into AR at a critical time, with Google relaunching Glass as a tool for workers and companies like HP, Microsoft, and Intel all launching hardware and software dedicated to mixed reality.

Self-driving is reportedly one of the biggest projects inside Apple, although some say the company has curtailed the scope in the past few months. Originally, reports said Apple was working on the complete solution: hardware, software, and services, but after a change up in leadership it has apparently moved towards the software side.

In interviews, the firm’s executives have hinted that cars are but one part of automation, leading people to believe it is looking into drones, pods, or new types of transport. That said, the company recently received a license to test three self-driving cars in California.

Other major investments, outside of the normal iPhone, iPad, Mac lineup, possibly include wearables that pass FDA approval. Fitbit and Jawbone, two of the first major wearable brands, are both pivoting to the health industry, Apple is expected to follow suit.

The post Apple R&D spends almost $ 3 billion on self-driving and AR appeared first on ReadWrite.


IoT Slam Live is almost here!

IoT Slam Live is happening next week on June 21 – June 22 and I am very much looking forward to keynoting this high caliber event. There is a fantastic set of presenters that are sure to deliver meaningful takeaways and actionable insights which can be implemented right away.

As the Internet of Things transforms the way we work and live, IoT technologies are enabling enterprises to create new business models, transform customer engagements and catapult entire industries forward. Technologies like cognitive computing, IoT Platforms, Blockchain and Digital Twin are rapidly reinventing how the Internet of Things is being used to drive industry transformation. This session will explore how businesses across the world are taking advantage of the ever-more-connected world to drive smarter and more profitable business.

As a key member of our Internet of Things Community, IBM has the pleasure to offer complimentary virtual access to this year’s IoT Slam Live 2017 conference broadcast on June 21 and June 22. It is two days of leading enterprise Internet of Things leaders delivering content on a range of relevant topics that should appeal to anyone in the Internet of Things space. I urge you not to miss out on it!

Register now for IoT Slam

Use this link to register yourself for free virtual access to this marquee IoT conference of 2017 – Look for Standard Virtual Pass (Free Registration is strictly for members of the Internet of Things Community – it is free to join the community so please ask all your guests to be make sure they are members here if they would like to attend!

To find out more, get involved with the community

View the final Agenda or the full list of Speakers.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to get the inside track on the current state of enterprise IoT and what the future holds.

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