Your webcam could be harnessed to do evil. Hackers have found a way to hijack thousands of internet-connected routers, DVRs, thermostats, cameras and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices, enslaving them as so-called botnets to attack websites. Such an attack is called a Distributed Denial-of-Service, or DDoS for short, and it happens when software in the co-opted devices simultaneously floods a web server with requests, overloading it until it shuts down.
Last week, the hosting service OVH experienced the single largest DDoS attack ever recorded. More than 150,000 IoT devices, including cameras and DVRs, powered the incident, according to a report at Security Affairs, forcing one terabyte of information per second -- that's 1,000 gigabytes -- down OVH's throat. Not surprisingly, it choked.
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The OVH take-down was the latest in a string of IoT-powered attacks that have security experts deeply concerned. About a month prior, cybercrime investigative reporter Brian Krebs had his website knocked offline by a similar offensive. According to a report over at Forbes, the security company protecting Krebs' site, Prolexic, was forced to disconnect KrebsOnSecurity.com after the event. The site is now back up, having been folded into Google's Project Shield service, which is designed to protect activists and journalists from DDoS attacks.
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