Security Experts:

Cameras Top Source of IoT Attacks: Kaspersky

Honeypots set up by Kaspersky Lab have provided some interesting information on Internet of Things (IoT) attacks, including the types of hacking attempts, attack sources, and the geographical distribution of compromised devices.

The security firm’s honeypots, designed to mimic various devices running Linux, were targeted within seconds of being deployed, and the number of attack attempts coming from unique IP addresses reached nearly 100,000 on some days.

These attacks often come from malware-infected devices that attempt to hijack other vulnerable systems. The compromised devices become part of botnets such as Mirai, Persirai and Amnesia, which are typically used to launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

Roughly 85 percent of attempts leveraged the telnet protocol, while the rest used SSH. In the case of telnet attacks, the most common default credentials tried out by malware are root: xc3511, root:vizxv and admin: admin. The most commonly used credentials in the case of SSH are admin:default, admin:admin and support:support.

More than 63 percent of the attacks observed by Kaspersky came from DVR and IP camera systems, and nearly 20 percent came from routers and other networking devices.

A ZoomEye search conducted by researchers revealed nearly 7.5 million potentially vulnerable camera systems, and roughly 4 million potentially vulnerable routers.

Experts also pointed out that the attacks came from both home devices and networks housing enterprise-grade hardware, including point-of-sale (PoS) devices, TV broadcasting systems, physical security systems, environmental monitoring devices, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), power management systems, and a seismic monitoring station in Thailand.

As for the geographical distribution of the devices launching attacks on IoT systems, many were located in China (14%), Vietnam (12%), Russia (7%), Brazil (6%), Turkey (6%), Taiwan (6%) and Iran (4%).

Kaspersky has so far this year recorded more than 2 million attacks and over 11,000 unique IP addresses that served IoT malware. A majority of the IPs were located in Vietnam (2,100 IPs), Taiwan (1,300 IPs), Brazil (1,100 IPs), Turkey (700 IPs), South Korea (600 IPs), India (500 IPs) and the U.S. (430 IPs).

As for the number of malware downloads, a total of nearly 2 million downloads were traced to Thailand, Hong Kong, South Korea, the Netherlands, the United States and Seychelles.

“The existing competition in the DDoS market drives cybercriminals to look for new resources to launch increasingly powerful attacks. The Mirai botnet has shown that smart devices can be harnessed for this purpose – already today, there are billions of these devices globally, and by 2020 their number will grow to 20-50 billion devices, according to predictions by analysts at different companies,” Kaspersky researchers said in a blog post.

Related Reading: The False Binary of IoT and Traditional Cyber Security

Related Reading: Enterprise IoT Security Firm Armis Emerges From Stealth

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.