sb-au logo
Story image

IoT a hot topic in cybercriminal underbelly

Cybercriminals from around the world are actively discussing how to compromise connected devices, and how to leverage these devices for moneymaking schemes, according to new research from Trend Micro, which says the monetisation of IoT attacks is increasing.

The research analysed forums in the Russian, Portuguese, English, Arabic, and Spanish language-based underground markets to determine how cybercriminals are abusing and monetising connected devices. The results reveal that the most advanced criminal markets are Russian and Portuguese-speaking forums, in which financially driven attacks are most prominent. 

In these forums, cybercriminal activity is focused on selling access to compromised devices, mainly routers, webcams and printers, so they can be leveraged for attacks.

"We've lifted the lid on the IoT threat landscape to find that cybercriminals are well on their way to creating a thriving marketplace for certain IoT-based attacks and services," says Steve Quane, executive vice president of network defense and hybrid cloud security for Trend Micro. 

"Criminals follow the money -- always. The IoT market will continue to grow, especially with landscape changes like 5G. While IoT attacks are still in their infancy, we also found criminals discussing how to leverage industrial equipment for the same gain," he explains. 

"Enterprises must be ready to protect their Industry 4.0 environments."

According to Trend Micro's findings, most conversations and active monetisation schemes are focused on consumer devices. However, discussions on how to discover and compromise connected industrial machinery are also occurring, especially the vital programmable logic controllers (PLCs) used to control large-scale manufacturing equipment. 

The most likely business plan to monetise attacks against these industrial devices involves digital extortion attacks that threaten production downtime.

Additionally, the report predicts an increase in IoT attack toolkits targeting a broader range of consumer devices, such as virtual reality devices. The opportunities for attackers will also multiply as more devices are connected to the internet, driven by 5G implementations.

"Trend Micro urges manufacturers to partner with IoT security experts to mitigate cyber-related risks from the design phase," says Quane. 

"End users and integrators should also gain visibility and control over connected devices to be aware of and curb their cyber risk."

Story image
Phishing scam imitates SharePoint & OneNote for nefarious clicks
Sophos researchers say that the attackers take a slightly different approach to the standard ‘fake login’ phishing email.More
Story image
Why securing IoT installations will be ‘do or die’ in post-pandemic Australia
Unless IoT technology is visible on the network, organisations will find themselves at risk with an unmanageable high-tech morass, warns ExtraHop A/NZ regional sales manager Glen Maloney.More
Story image
High-tech heist: why fending off ransomware attacks is more challenging than ever in 2020
The COVID-19 crisis has unleashed a wave of sophisticated and disruptive ransomware attacks, and the onus is on businesses to ramp up their security measures if they’re to avoid falling victim, writes Attivo Networks regional director for A/NZ Jim Cook.More
Story image
Check Point acquires Odo Security to bolster remote security offering
The deal will integrate Odo’s remote access software with Check Point’s Inifinity architecture, bolstering the latter company’s remote security capabilities in a time where working and learning from home has become the norm, and looks to largely remain that way in the near future.More
Link image
Phishing campaigns aren't stopping - but neither are their opponents
COVID-19 is presenting the perfect opportunity to cyber attackers to mount potentially devastating spear-phishing campaigns against organisations via their remote workers. Learn how to fight back.More
Story image
Global DDoS attacks: What they are, how they work, and how to defend against them
Do not pay the ransom, and do make sure you've got strong DDoS protection, security firms warn.More