Dave Pinwell

Dave Pinwell

Dave Pinwell is a prolific blogger and IT enthusiast and has kindly allowed us to reproduce his popular weekly IT Talk column first published in the Solihull News. Dave is also CEO of Colebridge Trust and SUSTAiN which play a key role in providing strategic support to Solihull’s Voluntary & Community sector. Dave has extensive experience in the IT sector, with roles including IT Director with Fujitsu Telecommunications Europe Ltd.
Tech News 8th July 2016 1071

Hostile Takeover Of WiFi A Big ConcernLizard Stresser image

Security research specialists Arbor Networks unleashed a report this week that should concern everyone using WiFi to connect up stuff in their homes.

Wifi enabled cameras, surveillance systems, online fridges and, especially, webcams are being taken over by a thing called LizardStresser.

This is a botnet, a network of internet connected gear that has been hijacked by criminals or hackers.

Usually, device owners will know nothing about it.

Any gizmos with onboard intelligence that are capable of sending information to a target address are likely to be sought for takeover in this way.

As a rule, once recruited into a botnet, the appliance will continue to work normally until the controllers are ready to direct an attack at a corporate target. Then, the full power of all the items which have been commandeered are used to bombard the network under assault.

It works because most products available in the ‘Internet of Things’ marketplace have default login and password combinations. These are often not changed when they are installed.

Consequently, rogues are able to programme machines to punt around the Internet looking for poorly protected networks to probe.

Finding a likely target, connected devices are probed with a long list of standard login/password combinations, tried out in quick succession.

Arbor reports that there has been a tenfold increase in such LizardStresser traffic on the Net in the first half of 2016.

The answer, for the home user, is to tighten up network security in general, and change and factory default passwords in particular.

There is an unpleasant irony in a webcam, set up to detect intruders in the home, being used by unseen intruders far away.

Dave Pinwell

Dave Pinwell is a prolific blogger and IT enthusiast and has kindly allowed us to reproduce his popular weekly IT Talk column first published in the Solihull News. Dave is also CEO of Colebridge Trust and SUSTAiN which play a key role in providing strategic support to Solihull’s Voluntary & Community sector. Dave has extensive experience in the IT sector, with roles including IT Director with Fujitsu Telecommunications Europe Ltd.

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