Internet of Things was the source of largest botnet attack in history

botnet cameras iot attack ismartalarm spot security camera 2
Security news site and blog KrebsonSecurity, was hit by the world’s largest denial of service (DDOS) attack last week, with more than 620 gigabits per second hammering its servers into submission. While astounding in its own right, what’s of more concern is the source: not infected PCs, but internet of things (IOT) devices like cameras and routers.

But the attackers didn’t stop there. Whoever was behind the DDOS was only just getting started. Since then we’ve seen assaults that peaked at over a terabit of data per second, with concerns that the botnet has the potential to deliver a further 50 percent more data if the timing is right.

Although as Ars reports, these numbers have yet to be officially confirmed, the sources are rather reliable. It would be easy to dismiss them based on their extravagance, since to date, the largest recorded botnet attack threw 363 gigabits per second of data. However, considering we’ve now seen attacks in excess of three times that much, we would expect to see many more large-scale attacks in the near future.

Related: Two Israeli teenagers arrested over vDOS DDoS-for-hire service

The reason this was possible at all is because of the Internet of Things. IOT devices have long been considered a security hole in the technological landscape, as they so often operate under the radar, and so receive less scrutiny from users and security professionals. However, they often have the ability to upload a lot of data at once, so it’s not always obvious when they’re used as part of an attack like this one.

We’ve seen hints of IOT devices like home routers being used in DDOS attacks before. The famous downing of the Xbox Live and PlayStation networks in 2015 was in part caused by botnet-connected home network hubs.

Even if you do notice that your IOT device is behaving oddly, reclaiming control of your hardware may not always be easy. By their very nature IOT devices tend to operate behind the scenes, so they often have minimal interfaces or ability to change important settings.

One preemptive security step people can take is to never put their hardware online at all. That may often defeat the point of a bit of smart tech and would of course be redundant for routers or similar devices, but there are a number of devices that don’t really need to be connected online all the time.

At the very least users should change their default passwords. Make them long, make them unique, and change them periodically to play it safe.

Home Theater

Tablo’s new auto ad-skip feature might change cord-cutting forever

The best part about free, over-the-air TV is that you watch and record your favorite shows without paying the cable companies. But needing to skip ads still isn't as much fun as Netflix, so Tablo will let you skip them automatically.
Mobile

The most expensive Galaxy S10 could be the priciest Galaxy phone we've seen

Not long now; with 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Computing

Lost your router? Here's how to find its IP address to help track it down

Changing the login information for your router isn't always easy, that's why so many have that little card on the back. But in order to use it, you need to know where to go. Here's how to find the IP address of your router.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Computing

Pinning websites to your taskbar is as easy as following these quick steps

Would you like to know how to pin a website to the taskbar in Windows 10 in order to use browser links like apps? Whichever browser you're using, it's easier than you might think. Here's how to get it done.
Computing

Stop your PC's vow of silence with these tips on how to fix audio problems

Sound problems got you down? Don't worry, with a few tweaks and tricks we'll get your sound card functioning as it should, and you listening to your favorite tunes and in-game audio in no time.
Computing

Chip off the auction block – Intel’s i9-9990XE may be sold to the highest bidder

Intel's alleged Core i9-9990XE may only be sold at auction to OEMs, meaning that only a few of the 14-core, 28-thread, 5GHz CPUs will ever see the light of day in specific devices and systems.
Computing

Yes, Android apps can run on your PC, and it's easier than you think

Wish you knew how to run Android apps in Windows? It's easier than you might think and there are a number of different ways to do it. In this guide, we break down the steps so you can follow along with ease.
Computing

Don't spend hundreds on Pro Tools or Logic. Try one of these free alternatives

Believe it or not, Pro Tools isn't the only digital audio workstation worth your time. Check out our picks for the best free recording software, whether you're looking for a lightweight app or a full-blown audio workstation.
Computing

How to share an external hard drive between Mac and Windows

Compatibility issues between Microsoft Windows and Apple MacOS may have diminished sharply over the years, but that doesn't mean they've completely disappeared. Here's how to make an external drive work between both operating systems.
Computing

Should you buy the affordable MacBook Air, or is the MacBook Pro worth the price?

Though they both share Retina Displays and similar keyboards, there are still some specs differences and other changes that differentiate the new 2018 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. In this guide, we stack the two up against each other.
Android

Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019: Complete Coverage

There's no bigger show for mobile tech geeks than Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain: where flagship phones are born and intriguing new wearables shine. And this year, where foldable phones and 5G are likely to dominate the news. For…
Computing

Google is giving its G Suite web apps new touches of visual improvements

Your G Suite applications will soon have a different look. Several of the web apps are getting updated with subtle visual improvements inspired by Google's Material Design guidelines. 
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…