Smart homes could be exposed to thousands of cyber attacks a week

Smart homes could be exposed to thousands of cyber attacks a week

smart thermostat being controlled by a mobile phone

Homes with smart devices could be the subject of over 12,000 cyber-attacks from around the world in just a week, according to new research by Which?.

Which? set up a test home with real smart devices, including televisions, security systems, and thermostats. The experiment was carried out in collaboration with NCC Group and IoT malware specialists, the Global Cyber Alliance (GCA). They described the scale of attacks as ‘breathtaking’.

In the first week, they reported a slow start to the experiment, with only 1,017 unique scans or hacking attempts, with at least 66 of these being malicious.

By June, the number of attacks had rapidly increased. Which? reported 12,807 unique scans and attack attempts in their busiest week, and also saw 2,435 attempts to maliciously log into devices with a weak default username and password. These attacks equated to 14 attempts by real hackers every hour.

Fortunately, the majority of devices were successful in fending off the attacks. The most popular device that hackers targeted was an Epson printer, although attacks against this were not successful as the device had strong default passwords.

However, a hacker was successful in accessing a wireless camera from Amazon and attempted to use it to spy on the home. The camera was incredibly popular and had been labelled ‘Amazon’s Choice’, with 8,500 reviews – 68% of which were 5-star reviews. Amazon has since removed the camera from its website following the report.

Copyright Lyonsdown Limited 2021

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