CNBC features Sophos in report on IoT threats

CorporateCNBCJames LyneMirai

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-16-19-15For 2017, Sophos predicts a rise in threats against devices that are part of the Internet of Things (IoT). James Lyne, global head of security research for Sophos, discussed the threat in a recent interview that aired on CNBC’s On the Money.

CNBC noted that IoT includes devices like webcams, DVRs and connected thermostats that make life easier for homeowners, but are susceptible to cyber-intrusions.

LEARN MORE: 7 Tips for securing the Internet of Things ►

“These gadgets add conveniences like locking your door or shutting off the lights all from a smartphone app, but they come with certain risks,” the report warned.

In the fall of 2016, Mirai malware was used to hijack Internet-facing webcams and other devices into massive botnets that were then used to launch a coordinated assault against Dyn, one of several companies hosting the the Domain Name System (DNS). That attack crippled such major sites as Twitter, Paypal, Netflix and Reddit and shifted the world’s attention to threats against the IoT.

Mirai’s attacks exploited only a small number of devices and vulnerabilities and used basic password-guessing techniques, Lyne said. But bad actors will find it easy to extend their reach because there are several IoT devices containing outdated code based on poorly-maintained operating systems and applications with well-known vulnerabilities.

That being the case, he said to expect many more IoT exploits, better password guessing and more compromised IoT devices being used for DDoS or perhaps to target other devices hooked to larger networks.

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“The sharks have smelled the blood in the water and they’re now circling to use your IoT device for further attacks,” Lyne said in the CNBC interview, which can be seen here.

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