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/

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.

 

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