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Cybercrime: A guide to IoT security

The rise of cybercrime in IoT

As the world becomes more connected and as technological advancements mould the way we live our lives, cybercrime is increasing exponentially. Cyber criminals look to take advantage of our reliance on technology, exploiting vulnerabilities within our hardware, software and connectivity. Unfortunately, early IoT devices came with minimal security, but now the sector is becoming more mature and the industry is fighting back against cybercrime.

What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical smart devices, such as computers and sensors, that are connected to the internet. IoT has become an integral part of our daily lives with smartphones, tablets, cars, refrigerators, thermostats, fitness trackers, and many more devices, all being connected to the internet – and that’s just the consumer market.

Business applications of IoT

Similarly to how connected devices are improving our personal lives, IoT is also helping businesses evolve into industry 4.o to improve efficiency and profitability with applications including supply chain monitoring, temperature monitoring, car tracking and mechanical status updates. Here at InfiSIM, we supply IoT SIM cards for businesses deploying a wide range of IoT devices.

IoT cybercrime: A new playground for cybercriminals

IoT is a rapidly growing network of technologies that has the potential to transform our lives. With over 38 billion IoT devices currently deployed across the glove, there’s no sign of it slowing down any time soon. However, there are also risks associated with IoT technology. Cybercriminals have already begun targeting IoT devices, posing a huge threat to business security and continuity.

Why are cybercriminals targeting IoT devices?

In most cases, cybercriminals hack IoT devices in order to access sensitive business data and gain access to your corporate network. Hackers usually attempt to install harmful malware or deliver DDoS attacks to your connected devices and machines, causing major business continuity issues or holding your data for ransom. Back in 2016, one of the biggest DDoS attacks was recorded when hackers used IoT devices to take down one of the biggest DNS service providers in North America, Dyn.

What is a DDoS attack

DDoS stands for Distributed Denial-of-Service. A DDoS attack is what happens when a hacker sends an enormous amount of traffic to a server or network, causing it to overload. This usually results in your server or network going down because it can’t process the large number requests.

How are hackers attacking IoT devices?


Mirai is one of the largest IoT-targeting pieces of malware that we’re aware of. It turns IoT devices into a network of remotely controlled bots or “zombies”. This network of bots, called a botnet, is often used to launch DDoS attacks on vulnerable networks. If you’ve fallen victim to Mirai it can be very difficult to overcome as its code is constantly evolving.

Eternal Blue

Eternal Blue is an exploit developed by the NSA to attack hardware using Microsoft’s SMBv1 server protocol. It has been used to spread ransomware across a number of IoT devices. Like Mirai, Eternal Blue is constantly evolving and it can be used to deploy any type of cyberattack, including cryptojacking and malware.

Protect your smart devices & data with IoT security

There are a number of actions you can deploy to protect your IoT-enabled business.

How to tell if your IoT devices have been hacked

It’s not always easy to recognise a cyber attack. Here are some key identifiers to look out for:

  • An unexpected spike in data usage

  • A significantly larger than expected bill from your provider

  • Devices suddenly become slow or non-responsive

  • Unusual requests on the network

  • Connectivity suddenly runs slowly as if it is being throttled

What to do if your IoT devices have been hacked

If you are concerned that your IoT devices have been compromised, contact your connectivity provider and the manufacturer of your hardware as a matter of urgency, even if the above steps appear to have fixed your problems. Cyberattacks can spread quickly, so ensuring that your network is safe early on is essential when it comes to protecting your business.

If you’re in the process of deploying a number of IoT devices, book a free consultation with our team of experts to learn how our M2M SIMs can help your business benefit from secure IoT connectivity.