These hacks and data breaches broke records in 2016

cybersecurity data breach hack

We’ve been saying this for many years: This year’s cyberattacks dwarfed last year’s. And in this regard, 2016 was no exception. From online fraud to account takeovers and data breaches, and everything else, attacks were dished out in bigger sizes and higher frequencies than before.

Some trends such as ransomware and DDoS attacks dominated the headlines, but that was not all 2016 had in stock. While experts might differ on which were the biggest hacks of the year, there’s no denying that the following four cases were really unprecedented in their own kind. Continue reading

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How to secure your smarthome gadgets

smarthome nest thermostat

The holiday season is a big time for consumer electronics and smarthome gadget sales. With so many advances and innovations that we saw in the Internet of Things in 2016, there’s a likely chance that one of those connected devices has found its way into your home, or that of one of your loved ones, this Christmas.

But while IoT devices make our homes more efficient, drive energy saving and reduce costs, you should also take note that IoT devices are a source of security headaches. A huge number of smarthome gadgets are developed without sound development practices and end up being used for evil purposes. Continue reading

What Bruce Schneier teaches us about IoT and cybersecurity

Bruce Schneier, cybersecurity expert, cryptologist

As if I haven’t said it a million times, IoT security is critical.

But just when I thought I had it all figured out, somebody comes along and sheds new light on this very important topic in a different way.

At a November 16 hearing held by the Congress Committee on Energy and Commerce in light of the devastating October 21 Dyn DDoS attack, famous cryptologist and computer security expert Bruce Schneier offered a new perspective on IoT security, which makes it easier for everyone to understand the criticality of the issue. Continue reading

How the IoT industry will self-regulate its security

iot security

Following last week’s DDoS attack against Dyn, which was carried out through a huge IoT botnet, there’s a general sense of worry about IoT security—or rather insecurity—destabilizing the internet or bringing it to a total collapse.

All sorts of apocalyptic and dystopian scenarios are being spinned out by different writers (including myself) about how IoT security is running out of hand and turning into an uncontrollable problem. There are fears that DDoS attacks will continue to rise in number and magnitude; large portions of internet-connected devices will fall within the control of APT and hacker groups, and they will censor what suits them and bring down sites that are against their interests. The internet will lose its fundamental value. We will recede to the dark ages of pre-internet. Continue reading

How insecurity is damaging the IoT industry

internet of things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is often hyped as the next industrial revolution—and it’s not an overstatement. Its use cases are still being discovered and it has the potential to change life and business as we know it today. But as much as IoT is disruptive, it can also be destructive, and never has this reality been felt as we’re feeling it today. Continue reading

How smart locks are changing the way we think about security

smart lock

Guest post by Ralph Goodman

Many people have postulated that the future of home security lies within the smart lock. However, I do not believe that the future of anything is that clear cut, especially home security. This is not to say that smart locks will not have a place in the future. I am merely trying to view them as objectively as possible in order to discuss the ways in which they are changing the security landscape. There are many indicators that point to the fact that smart locks will have a bright future in terms of security, but there are also a few indicators that signal that the smart lock industry could take a wrong turn if it does not pay more attention to security. Continue reading

The IoT ransomware threat is more serious than you think

Image: Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai/Vice Motherboard

At the recent Def Con hacking conference in Las Vegas, two researchers from cybersecurity firm Pen Test Partners showed that they could inflict your smart thermostat with ransomware from hundreds of miles away, and force you to fork over cash (usually bitcoins) before you could regain control of the appliance. Continue reading