The Internet of Threats: IoT Botnets and Application Layer Attacks

The Internet of Threats: IoT Botnets and Application Layer Attacks

It is well known that connected devices are prime targets for hackers who want to exploit their computing power and large-scale distribution for cybercriminal activities, and in particular DDoS. IoT devices are deployed in the millions, often configured insecurely by default, and typically infrequently maintained. They operate 24/7 and are available at any time, and unlike PCs and servers, they are subjected to few security standards and regulations.

Unsecured IoT devices are also easy to find. Thanks to sites like shodan.io, a specialised search engine that lets users look up specific types of IoT devices (such as connected web cameras or routers), identifying vulnerable targets now requires minimum effort.

Put together, these weaknesses give hackers easy access to a massive attack surface via IoT botnets. But such botnets are not only used for brute force (volumetric) attacks: they are also being exploited in stealthier ways, which require more sophisticated protection measures.

The growing threat of Application Layer attacks

When we talk about DDoS attacks, most people will think of large-scale attacks which target the network or transport layers (3 or 4) in the OSI Model. The poster child for this type of attack is, of course, Mirai. Mirai made global headlines in the fall of 2016, when it rendered major websites such as Twitter, Reddit and Spotify unavailable by taking down the Dyn DNS server. It was the first major, widespread attack using IoT botnets.

However, compromised IoT devices are increasingly used for a different and more insidious type of attacks, namely so-called Application Layer (Layer 7) attacks, which target specific elements of an application or service. Security solution provider F5 calls Layer 7 attacks “the new drug”, meaning that they are becoming more common, more sophisticated, and more threatening.

The most common type of Application Layer attacks are HTTP floods, which send seemingly legitimate requests, but, in vast quantities. They often target particularly resource-hungry elements of the web application, such as form submissions.

Whereas mitigating a brute force attack comes down to who has the strongest network capacity — the attacker or the mitigation service — Application Layer attacks are much more complex to detect and deflect.

Because each bot in the botnet makes apparently legitimate network requests and reports a unique source IP address, a distributed attack can look very similar to legitimate user traffic and may not trigger detection before it is too late.

By using a large number of different devices with different IP addresses (for which IoT botnets are ideal), and capping the number of attempts per device, hackers can avoid volumetric detection. IP centric protection solutions, such as Web Application Firewalls, are simply no match for this type of attack.

The most effective way to protect applications against Layer 7 attacks is therefore to effectively profile incoming traffic. Behaviour, not volume, is the key to detecting this sort of attack, and the protection solution must be able to accurately distinguish real human users from human-like bots.

Will IoT device owners do their part?

Sadly, IoT device owners currently have few incentives to prevent their devices from being used in DDoS attacks on unaffiliated businesses. As a result, we are composing with billions of vulnerable devices around the world.

Long term, the consequences of weak security will inevitably become too visible or too costly, and IoT security will have to improve. But until then, IoT devices will keep being hijacked and used in both network layer and application layer DDoS attacks. Organisations therefore need to implement security controls that efficiently detect and block malicious bots, in order to protect their websites, applications and services.

How to learn more

IoT botnets are a growing threat to businesses worldwide. With the right knowledge and tools, however, most botnet attacks can be prevented. You can become a trusted leader at the forefront of Cyber Security with a Master of Cyber Security at Edith Cowan University online. Accelerated and 100% online, the Master of Cyber Security will provide you with the tools and techniques to predict, identify, and mitigate DDoS attacks and other cyber security risks.



originally posted on https://iotbusinessnews.com/2019/08/01/50805-the-internet-of-threats-iot-botnets-and-application-layer-attacks/

The Convergence of Blockchain and the IoT

The Convergence of Blockchain and the IoT

Blockchain technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) have a lot in common. They are both futuristic technologies in the midst of a ten-second countdown to launching themselves into the stratosphere, where all industries will rely on them and everyday people will begin to take them for granted.

Currently, many crypto fans already possess a bitcoin wallet from Luno or another global brand, and thousands of households have connected devices to make chores easier. This is in spite of the fact that blockchain and IoT are still, arguably, in their early ramp-up periods – assuming they do spread massively as predicted. However, these two areas of technology cannot just be matched up on their growth potential, but they can actually be matched up.


The convergence of the Internet of Things and Blockchain technology is possible, in motion and to the benefit of businesses. Here we will discuss the state of play and find out exactly why businesses could benefit from such a join of technological forces.

How Does the IoT and Blockchain Technology Fit Together?

The internet of Things is developed to spread data without the need for human interaction, for the most part. Spreading information is something the blockchain already does when sending crypto data around the world from wallet to wallet. With this in mind, it is already possible to see some mutually beneficial qualities in both technologies.

Ways of Fuelling IOT Through A Crypto System

The bottom line is that there are ways that the IoT could be fuelled by blockchain and/or crypto. To give a better understanding of these possibilities, here are some speculated examples of how they could be used together and how this benefits businesses.

1. IoT to Excel Microtransactions

If an IoT reliant society does come to fruition, the increase of microtransactions will be unavoidable. We may have to pay small fees for turning lights on or using the washing machine, but can banks keep up with a surge in microtransactions? We already know crypto can, but financial institutions may also begin to look at the blockchain to help deal with such demand. Simultaneously this helps those business providers bring their services to market.

2. Data Security

There is already some distrust between devices that are placed in our home and listen to our commands. Distrust likely increased after Google’s latest admission of listening to private conversations.

On the other hand, blockchain goes far too ensuring data is kept secure and has a glowing reputation for safety and privacy. It is very likely that IoT devices powered by Blockchain technology would increase trust among consumers and improve sales to those providing IoT services and products.

3. Blockchain Protects

Blockchain has already been known to track the usage of a vehicle and prevent tampering with readings and other information. This is primarily to ensure that anyone deciding to sell the car to another person must be honest and upfront about its history, maintenance records and thus, its value.

The same could be done with all the IoT devices currently in homes and IoT concepts being thought up as you read this. All these devices could have their history tracked including repairs and so on. This will protect companies who sell them from warranty fraud but has a number of other benefits.

The IoT and Blockchain could in many ways be a powerful match to give consumers and businesses the trust and confidence they need to buy and use IoT-enabled products and services. This is an important key for massive adoption of IoT throughout the whole society. Time will tell if these technologies become a strong couple but many companies are already investing in this promising combination of technologies to design the next generation of the Internet of Things…


originally posted on https://iotbusinessnews.com/2019/08/08/30630-the-convergence-of-blockchain-and-the-iot/





Full Stack Developer

StockCheck is data driven; the answers, solutions, to our customer’s problems are found in data in the world around us. It is every employee’s duty to leverage their knowledge base by synthesizing the data around them, collaborate with their team mates to compile that data, and find the appropriate solution. StockCheck’s employees are continuously learning; growing as employees and individuals and should always be champions for this solution oriented, data driven culture.

Stockcheck is looking for a Full Stack developer who will take a key role on Stockcheck's team.

The Full Stack Developer role will serve as a resource responsible for Stockcheck’s web developmental needs.

This role will assist with all existing development issues, future fixes/improvements, and new software efforts.

Our Full Stack developer must have knowledge in all stages of software development.

This resource will be working alongside other engineers and developers, collaborating on the various layers of the infrastructure for our {{platform/application/etc.}

Primary Responsibilities

  • Maintain and enhance existing app code
  • Develop new modules on application as per functional specifications
  • Process requests from manager in a timely manner.
  • Contribute to the entire application lifecycle
  • Develop functional and fast-responsive web applications, using markup languages
  • Elaborate mobile-based and web-based features
  • Troubleshoot apps for bugs
  • Fix bugs when necessary and improve usability
  • Improve apps for maximum speed
  • Troubleshoot UI and improve its performance accordingly
  • Employ the latest technology in order to re-build legacy apps
  • Integrate UI elements with server-side ones
  • Experience with API design/development and usage of push notifications.
  • Knowledge of code versioning tools {{such as Git, Mercurial or SVN}}.
  • Proficiency in web server technologies like Node.js, J2EE, Apache, Nginx, IIS, etc. (Emphasis on Apache and Node.js).
  • Proficiency in Linux OS and basic knowledge of Windows and Unix
  • Proficiency in Big Data Management
  • Understanding of SEO standards
  • Bachelor’s degree is highly preferred

Data Entry Positions Available

Data Entry Specialist

StockCheck is looking for a Data Entry Specialist that will take a key role on the Stockcheck's data entry team. The Data Entry Specialist role is responsible for capture and optimization of item data in StockCheck’s database. Our data entry specialist must have full knowledge in all phases of data entry 

Primary Responsibilities

1. Capture of new item information to support Sales & Marketing efforts

2. Source datasheets, manuals, and images; attach those files to the appropriate item page; extract specifications and overview out of those documents and add to the item record

3. Update alias part numbers and related products to establish relationships

4. Work with marketing on online data scrubs and batch uploads to improve item records 

Additional Responsibilities

1. Help with projects as needed.

2. Contribute new ideas to improve current processes

Requirements

1. Proficiency in organic searches using Google

2. High level of accuracy, diligence and attention to detail when managing large amounts of information

3. Adhere to time sensitive projects and deadlines through efficient organizational skills

4. Adjust and perform, if called upon, for special projects set by department manager

5. Maintain processes and guidelines to maximize process and efficiency

6. Follow direction and meet/exceed item data publishing quotas set by department manager

7. Strong drive to succeed, personally and StockCheck


Top 10 Industrial Automation Trends to Watch For in 2019

Top 10 Industrial Automation Trends to Watch For in 2019

Top 10 Automation Trends That Will Be Bigger Parts of the Industrial Landscape in 2019

Automation will be further integrated into the way companies work as the currently available technologies continue to be improved upon and refined. The use of more automated features isn’t far off into the future either. It’s already happening now, and by the time next year rolls around, companies will embrace those features even further.

As for how companies will go about doing that, listed below are the top automation trends that you can expect to become more prevalent in several industries in 2019.

 

1. The Internet of Things Is Set to Become a Bigger Deal

The internet of things has certainly become more important to companies as they continue to try to improve their product offerings, and that is not about to change. According to the Robotic Industries Association, companies are expected to utilize more smart sensors in the year ahead, with the aim of gaining access to bits of data that have thus far proved difficult to obtain for them.

This likely change in the way companies handle information gathering is expected to have a huge impact on how they will work moving forward. Efficient information acquisition has always been essential to companies succeeding, and expect this trend to make that particular activity even easier for businesses.

 

2. Keeping Customers’ Data Secure Will Be Emphasized More

Companies are coming into possession of more customer information, and the projected developments related to the internet of things will only add to that. Keeping customers’ information safe has always been a priority for companies, but that will be an even bigger point of emphasis in the coming year.

Businesses will push more of their security offerings into the spotlight in an effort to show potential customers that working them will not be a risky proposition. The introduction of more automated processes is going to make the security challenge greater, but the only option available to companies is to adjust.

 

3. Bigger Companies Investing More Resources in Blockchain

As part of the push to improve security in the wake of more automated features being introduced to the public, companies are likely going to take an even longer look at blockchain to determine if it will be helpful to them.

A recent article on Medium touched on what the future holds for blockchain, noting that numerous tech giants are among those that are investing more in it. Whether blockchain will be ready to be unleashed upon a larger audience in 2019 remains to be seen, but count of companies using more resources to look at its potential as security becomes a greater concern in the era of more automated processes.

 

4. Chatbots Will Receive More Chances

The disastrous roll out pf previous high-profile chatbots may have discouraged more companies from releasing their own iterations a few years back, but that doesn’t mean that this form of automated technology has just been dropped altogether.

According to this article posted on bsdzine.org, five years from now, around 80 percent of business communications involving companies and customers are expected to involve some kind of chatbot. Chatbots have already becoming more prevalent, but they have clearly not reached their full potential. Even as soon as next year, chatbots could be utilized by more companies.

 

5. AI Assistants Will Become More Advanced and Grow in Number

The success of the currently available voice-automated assistants has not gone unnoticed, and they are not going to fall by the wayside anytime soon. Many consumers are aware that these voice-controlled AI assistants are serving as tools for companies to a large degree, but they have continued to use them because the convenience they offer is irresistible.

The onus is now on the companies to continue to roll out innovations that will keep that equation tilted in their favor. It will be interesting to see how companies go about introducing more advanced features, so be sure to keep an eye on this.

 

6. Marketing Is Set to Become even More Personalized

This isn’t necessarily a new development, but even so, marketing is going to be even more targeted towards you, your needs, and your preferences in 2019. Companies are aware that they can’t just rely on the strength of their brand alone to drive sales. Consumers care more about the quality of products and services, and if the big brands can’t provide what they are looking for, they are more than willing to approach niche businesses.

To keep up, big companies will have to make use of advertising campaigns that are designed to attract specific customers in order to keep them in the fold. Failing to do that could be costly for companies.

 

7. AR Will Have a Bigger Presence in Certain Industries

The biggest AR hit right now may still be a mobile game, but companies are already working to get more out of this particular form of technology.

Several industries are trying to improve the way they do things by increasing AR integration, and as noted by ZDNet, one of the successful sectors right now is real estate.

What’s interesting about the way real estate businesses are using this technology is that they are not shying away from fully incorporating it. They are even combining robotics with AR to provide potential buyers with tours of properties currently on the market. The real estate industry is starting to figure out this whole AR thing, and more industries are going to catch up sooner rather than later.

 

8. More Robots Will Be Working Alongside Instead of Replacing Human Workers

Robots being present in the workplace is no longer a new thing, but in 2019, the trend of handing over processes completely to them may slow down somewhat. Instead of companies relying solely on improved robotics to lower their expenses and expand their profit margins, they may start to use more collaborative robots.

These collaborative robots are cheaper to maintain, and with some help from human workers, they can still be as productive as their more heavy duty counterparts. Jobs that have already been lost to robots aren’t coming back, but more people may remain employed if collaborative robots do indeed prove to be more cost-efficient.

 

9. Workplace Training Is Changing

Employee training is becoming more automated, but the way in which it is may surprise you. In an effort to get important lessons to stick in the minds of employees, companies are relying more and more on games to get that job done.

According to this article from Mental Floss, hotels, hospitals, car manufacturers, and even ice cream companies are using games to help get their new hires up to speed. Video games aren’t just for fun and recreation anymore as more companies are acknowledging how they can be utilized as a teaching tool.

 

10. Automated Ads Are Likely to Become More Prevalent in Mobile Gaming

More than a few gamers may still regard mobile games as titles designed for the so-called “casuals,” but that has not impacted the profitability of those offerings.

What’s even more fascinating is that it seems like people who like mobile games are not as opposed to seeing ads in whatever they’re playing. An article posted on Gamesindustry.biz highlights that 73 percent of mobile gamers prefer to play titles that are funded by ads as opposed to having to fork over money for them. That may signal a larger disconnect between mobile gamers and those who prefer to play on consoles and PCs. Even so, expect more mobile games to feature an increased number of automated ads now that consumers have shown that they are fine with seeing those.

The world is growing more automated by the day, and that will continue in earnest in 2019. Keeping tabs on all these trends is exciting, and you can expect to hear more about them in the not too distant future.

 

Top 10 Automation Trends To Watch For In 2019

Top 10 Automation Trends To Watch For In 2019

Automation will be further integrated into the way companies work as the currently available technologies continue to be improved upon and refined. The use of more automated features isn’t far off into the future either. It’s already happening now, and by the time next year rolls around, companies will embrace those features even further.

As for how companies will go about doing that, listed below are the top automation trends that you can expect to become more prevalent in several industries in 2019.

 


1. The Internet of Things Is Set to Become a Bigger Deal

The internet of things has certainly become more important to companies as they continue to try to improve their product offerings, and that is not about to change. According to the Robotic Industries Association, companies are expected to utilize more smart sensors in the year ahead, with the aim of gaining access to bits of data that have thus far proved difficult to obtain for them.

This likely change in the way companies handle information gathering is expected to have a huge impact on how they will work moving forward. Efficient information acquisition has always been essential to companies succeeding, and expect this trend to make that particular activity even easier for businesses.

 

2. Keeping Customers’ Data Secure Will Be Emphasized More

Companies are coming into possession of more customer information, and the projected developments related to the internet of things will only add to that. Keeping customers’ information safe has always been a priority for companies, but that will be an even bigger point of emphasis in the coming year.

Businesses will push more of their security offerings into the spotlight in an effort to show potential customers that working them will not be a risky proposition. The introduction of more automated processes is going to make the security challenge greater, but the only option available to companies is to adjust.


3. Bigger Companies Investing More Resources in Blockchain

As part of the push to improve security in the wake of more automated features being introduced to the public, companies are likely going to take an even longer look at blockchain to determine if it will be helpful to them.

A recent article on Medium touched on what the future holds for blockchain, noting that numerous tech giants are among those that are investing more in it. Whether blockchain will be ready to be unleashed upon a larger audience in 2019 remains to be seen, but count of companies using more resources to look at its potential as security becomes a greater concern in the era of more automated processes.

 

4. Chatbots Will Receive More Chances

The disastrous roll out pf previous high-profile chatbots may have discouraged more companies from releasing their own iterations a few years back, but that doesn’t mean that this form of automated technology has just been dropped altogether.

 According to this article posted on bsdzine.org, five years from now, around 80 percent of business communications involving companies and customers are expected to involve some kind of chatbot. Chatbots have already becoming more prevalent, but they have clearly not reached their full potential. Even as soon as next year, chatbots could be utilized by more companies.

 

5. AI Assistants Will Become More Advanced and Grow in Number

The success of the currently available voice-automated assistants has not gone unnoticed, and they are not going to fall by the wayside anytime soon. Many consumers are aware that these voice-controlled AI assistants are serving as tools for companies to a large degree, but they have continued to use them because the convenience they offer is irresistible.

The onus is now on the companies to continue to roll out innovations that will keep that equation tilted in their favor. It will be interesting to see how companies go about introducing more advanced features, so be sure to keep an eye on this.

 

6. Marketing Is Set to Become even More Personalized

This isn’t necessarily a new development, but even so, marketing is going to be even more targeted towards you, your needs, and your preferences in 2019. Companies are aware that they can’t just rely on the strength of their brand alone to drive sales. Consumers care more about the quality of products and services, and if the big brands can’t provide what they are looking for, they are more than willing to approach niche businesses.

To keep up, big companies will have to make use of advertising campaigns that are designed to attract specific customers in order to keep them in the fold. Failing to do that could be costly for companies.

 

7. AR Will Have a Bigger Presence in Certain Industries

The biggest AR hit right now may still be a mobile game, but companies are already working to get more out of this particular form of technology. Several industries are trying to improve the way they do things by increasing AR integration, and as noted by ZDNet, one of the successful sectors right now is real estate.

What’s interesting about the way real estate businesses are using this technology is that they are not shying away from fully incorporating it. They are even combining robotics with AR to provide potential buyers with tours of properties currently on the market. The real estate industry is starting to figure out this whole AR thing, and more industries are going to catch up sooner rather than later.

 

8. More Robots Will Be Working Alongside Instead of Replacing Human Workers

Robots being present in the workplace is no longer a new thing, but in 2019, the trend of handing over processes completely to them may slow down somewhat. Instead of companies relying solely on improved robotics to lower their expenses and expand their profit margins, they may start to use more collaborative robots. These collaborative robots are cheaper to maintain, and with some help from human workers, they can still be as productive as their more heavy duty counterparts. Jobs that have already been lost to robots aren’t coming back, but more people may remain employed if collaborative robots do indeed prove to be more cost-efficient.

 

9. Workplace Training Is Changing

Employee training is becoming more automated, but the way in which it is may surprise you. In an effort to get important lessons to stick in the minds of employees, companies are relying more and more on games to get that job done. According to this article from Mental Floss, hotels, hospitals, car manufacturers, and even ice cream companies are using games to help get their new hires up to speed. Video games aren’t just for fun and recreation anymore as more companies are acknowledging how they can be utilized as a teaching tool.

 

10. Automated Ads Are Likely to Become More Prevalent in Mobile Gaming

More than a few gamers may still regard mobile games as titles designed for the so-called “casuals,” but that has not impacted the profitability of those offerings. What’s even more fascinating is that it seems like people who like mobile games are not as opposed to seeing ads in whatever they’re playing. An article posted on Gamesindustry.biz highlights that 73 percent of mobile gamers prefer to play titles that are funded by ads as opposed to having to fork over money for them.

That may signal a larger disconnect between mobile gamers and those who prefer to play on consoles and PCs. Even so, expect more mobile games to feature an increased number of automated ads now that consumers have shown that they are fine with seeing those.

The world is growing more automated by the day, and that will continue in earnest in 2019. Keeping tabs on all these trends is exciting, and you can expect to hear more about them in the not too distant future.

 

ABB and Kawasaki Collaborate on Robot Automation

ABB and Kawasaki Collaborate on Robot Automation

ABB group, a Swedish-Swiss industrial automation company is set to partner with Kawasaki Heavy industries to increase awareness and promote benefits of collaborative robots. Since its inception from a merger with the Swedish company, ASEA in 1988, ABB has grown to be a leading supplier of industrial robots, equipment and complete application solution

The partnership which was announced on 27th of November, 2017 will focus on dual arm designs capable of human interactions. Both companies will work together to improve awareness opportunities and technical potentials. There will be a presentation on collaborative dual arm robot demonstration at the International Robot Exhibition (IREX) in Japan from November 29, the statement said.

According to the company’s website, collaborative robots can help reduce the effects of labor shortages and aging workforce. Collaborative robots or ‘cobots’ are robots which work with human employees in a shared workspace. Cobots have become increasingly popular as industries seek to explore the world of industrial digitization.

ABB is not new to collaborative automation; it is in fact known as one of the pioneers of collaborative automation. In April 2015, ABB introduced the world’s first collaborative dual arm robot called ‘YuMi’, robots that are able to work collaboratively with humans. Therefore, this partnership is another innovative way ABB shows its commitment to the future of industrial digitalization. In a tweet, CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer said that the winning formula for global industrial production comes from human ingenuity and improvisation combined with robotic precision and endurance.

IBASE launches E-mark Certified MPT V-Series In-Vehicle Systems

IBASE launches E-mark Certified MPT V-Series In-Vehicle Systems

IBASE, a Taiwan-based leader in the world of motherboards and embedded system manufacturing, recently launched its E-mark Certified MPT V-Series in-vehicle systems. They are the MPT-3000V in-vehicle system and the MPT-7000V Expandable in-vehicle system. Both systems come with Intel® Atom™ Processor E3845 and 7th/6th Generation Intel® Core™ processors respectively.

Since its inception in 2000, IBASE has focused on manufacturing industrial motherboards and single board computers for medical, networking, transportation and retail markets. In addition, the company has made significant contribution to the growing IoT (internet of things) market. The launching of the MPT V-series in-vehicle systems are IBASE’s intelligent transportation systems that comes on the heel of the growing demand in this market.

The fan-less MPT V-series system contain dual SIM sockets with wireless communication redundancy, fully car battery power control, wide range voltage GPIO interface, optional CAN, rich I/O interfaces for wireless, SSD, GPS,WWAN and-on card expansion. The systems also offer protective and safety management measures through their self-protective, self-debugging and reporting abilities. Their general purpose input and output (GPIO) can be used as compartment data processor, message display controller, communication relay station and traffic or fleet management systems.


GE Partners With Apple to Promote Predix

GE Partners With Apple to Promote Predix

Founded in 1988 by Thomas Edison, General Electric has resisted the wave of disruption sweeping 19th century industrial companies by continuously reinventing itself. As part of its relentless push towards modernization, the company announced its partnership with the tech giant, Apple, on 18th of October.

According to GE website, Apple and GE have collaborated to develop a set of industrial apps for GE’s IoT platform, Predix, using Apple’s advanced operating systems. In 2015, GE released Predix, a cloud based platform that uses industrial data and analytics for system wide optimization. The app was designed to help industrial customers leverage the vast amount of industrial data for improved industrial performance. For example, users can use data gathered from Predix cloud to gain more insight into the health and performance of their equipment. In addition, GE can use such analytics to improve on existing business models.

The companies also revealed a new software development kit (SDK) that allows users to create their own apps on Predix that enables access to data and analytics on the platform. The partnership with Apple leverages the tech giant’s deep knowledge of iOS to deliver such apps to IPhone and IPad. This partnership also extends to GE’s move to standardize iPhone, iPad and Mac devices for its workforce globally.

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