Did Baby Monitors Really Cause The Internet To Go Down?

Not exactly. But a massive outage affected major sites like Twitter, Spotify, and Netflix across the Internet last week. The distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack is particularly worrisome in a number of ways because it disrupts business and compromises security at a time when everyone is especially jumpy about the US Presidential Elections. Not to mention the hacking allegations that point to foreign actors.

arsTECHNICA reported that ”According to Dale Drew, the chief security officer at Level 3 Communications, the attack is at least in part being mounted from a "botnet" of Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices. "We're seeing attacks coming from a number of different locations," Drew said. "An Internet of Things botnet called Mirai that we identified is also involved in the attack."

This might mean that all those connected and smart devices in your home - your smart refrigerator, your smart washer, and, yes, even your baby monitor webcam - were summoned by the botnet to engage in the cyberattack without the owner’s knowledge.

Has security for IoT devices been an afterthought? Do we need to worry about future breaches of our connected car, home, office and world?

And what does this mean for the future of the Internet of Things? Larry Steffann, Co Founder of RIoT and GM of the Wireless Research Center of North Carolina says "The Dyn DDoS attack highlights that IoT is an emerging frontier with significant challenges, regardless of the product or services delivered. The companies building solutions to tackle these problems head on (like Bright Wolf in NC) will define the future foundation of IoT security.”

We can be sure that bad actors will also continue to muck things up. We can also be sure that the excitement and enthusiasm of IoT will continue to grow. Turns out now’s a good time to beef up investments into those security and privacy companies going forward.

Beverly Macy is author of The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing. She also teaches the Global Business of Sports & Entertainment at UCLA Anderson School of Management and she is a thought-leader in IoT, big data, and digital media transformation. Check out her Top 5 Trends To Watch in 2017.

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