Malicious actors aren’t tiring of the Internet of Things (IoT), with cyberattacks on network-connected smart devices and process controllers rapidly increasing in number. One network of honeypots, put in place by Kaspersky, saw 105 million attacks on IoT devices coming from 276,000 unique IP addresses in the first six months of 2019, compared with just 12 million attacks in the first half of 2018.
Kaspersky’s honeypot network found that while most IoT attacks are not very sophisticated, they sure are “quiet,” showing little evidence of successful infection until the victim is activated as part of a botnet. Mirai and its variants remain the most common attack payload, accounting for 39% of the infections. The methods used to infect IoT devices vary, ranging from brute-forcing device passwords — often through Nyadrop, which was seen in 38.57% of attacks — to exploits of unpatched vulnerabilities found in a wide variety of different devices.
Kaspersky’s honeypot network also determined the geographical source of the attacks, with China responsible for 30%, Brazil for 19%, and Egypt for 12%. That pattern marks a change from 2018, when Brazil was the leading attack source, responsible for 28% of the attacks seen in the first half of the year.
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