Season’s greetings: Expect uptick in DDoS attacks this holiday season

There was a time when a DDoS attack originated solely with a botnet consisting of zombie computers. With the advent of IoT devices, however, DDoS attacks have grown in complexity and power. Now anything, from a smart refrigerator to a CCTV camera, can be susceptible to malicious use as a part of a botnet. Especially in recent times, IoT DDoS attacks have been in the news because of the alarming damage they caused. According to a new report by Akamai Technologies, a leader in DDoS prevention, there is about to be a sharp increase in DDoS attacks facilitated by IoT botnets in the holiday season.

In the report entitled State of the Internet/Security, Akamai notes that the holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day has “long been characterized by a rise in the threat of DDoS attacks. Malicious actors have new tools – IoT botnets – that will almost certainly be used.” Akamai points to past DDoS incidents, such as the mass attack on gaming companies in 2014 via script kiddie extraordinaires Lizard Squad, to draw their conclusions.

Considering the vast amount of new devices that will be activated during the holidays, from tablets to appliances, Akamai’s warning makes sense. IoT botnets will be able to be formed due to the shear increase of devices connected to the Internet of Things, as there will likely be many new vulnerabilities to accompany these devices. Couple this with the mass populous still not fully understanding that their fridge can be hacked, and there is bound to be some risky security behavior by consumers. The safer a user thinks that they are, the more risks they are likely to take with their newfangled technology.

The IoT in many ways has been a blessing in how much more efficiently the world is run. The downside to it is simply that the more things that are connected to a single source, the more likely it is there will be a major security incident.

Photo credit: Flickr/Blogtrepreneur

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