The hackers who launched a distributed denial of service attack against the DNS provider Dyn late last week used hundred of thousands of connected devices such as baby monitors and home security cameras to infiltrate the networks. Dyn’s clients including Twitter, Netflix, Spotify, Airbnb, Reddit, Etsy, SoundCloud and The New York Times experienced internet service disruptions.
Security experts have been warning for a while now that IoT connected devices can be infected with malware in order to cause disruptions of service across the internet. The gigantic, rapid growth of the IoT sector promises revenue to operators as well as device manufacturers, but this incident is a sobering reminder that humble connected devices used by unwitting consumers can provide easy entrance points to national and global networks. The IoT is an essential component of the worldwide telecommunications economy, but at present it appears to be an Achilles heel that needs tighter security.