New internet vulnerability discovered
A recent internet attack in the eastern United States by hackers opens up a new area of vulnerability for all of us. Here is what you need to know.
What is new
This recent cyber attack hijacked many computing devices. The attack took over these devices and used their computing power to attack a large internet provider. The result was some large service providers having their sites slow to a crawl and temporarily shut down from this massive attack.
The new, and disturbing, change is what kinds of computing devices are now being taken over. They are non-computer devices with internet connectivity. They include things like baby monitors, home security systems, and smart TVs. This new technology is targeting devices that traditionally have low or no security measures in place.
Change your password
The biggest thing you can do to protect yourself is to make it a habit to change the passwords on all your devices. Here are some other suggestions.
- Identify your devices. Go through your home and create a list of all devices that could be vulnerable to hackers. Anything that has internet connectivity can be vulnerable. Smart TVs, game consoles, TV set boxes (like Roku and Apple TV), thermostats, security systems, baby monitors, and more.
- Check new purchases. More and more appliances are being loaded with computer technology. Some of these devices do not have security protection in them, others have factory settings that most of us do not change. Know what you are buying before you buy.
- Reset the passwords. When installing a new smart device, immediately change the password. If professionally installed, change the password from the one set by the installation company.
- Periodically change your passwords. Create a system to update and change all your passwords on a regular basis. This can create havoc as remembering this changing password landscape can be a real burden. So develop a system that is easy for you to remember but virtually impossible for a cyber thief.