Trend Micro: Cybercriminals talk IoT attacks in underworld

While the Internet of Things (IoT) is touted to make life so much easier than before, what with talks of smart home and self-driving cars, there is also a spike in security concerns. This is also what cybersecurity solutions firm Trend Micro found out in its recent research.

Trend Micro Research said in its blog post that cybercriminals have been discussing among themselves ways on how to compromise IoT devices that would earn them money. They are setting their sights on consumer devices, which are probably the most vulnerable in terms of security defenses in the IoT system. Industrial IoTs are sure to have their own security department especially when a company is engaged in manufacturing, for example.

Given that awareness that industrial IoT devices have some level of security, Trend Micro also found out that cybercriminals exchange ideas on how to discover and compromise connected industrial machinery, “especially the vital programmable logic controllers (PLCs) used to control large-scale manufacturing equipment.”

Trend Micro suspects that hackers intend to make money from these industrial devices through “digital extortion attacks that threaten production downtime” and ransomware could not be far behind.

“We’ve lifted the lid on the IoT threat landscape to find that cybercriminals are well on their way to creating a thriving marketplace for certain IoT-based attacks and services,” said Steve Quane, executive vice president of network defense and hybrid cloud security for Trend Micro. “Criminals follow the money — always. The IoT market will continue to grow, especially with landscape changes like 5G. While IoT attacks are still in their infancy, we also found criminals discussing how to leverage industrial equipment for the same gain. Enterprises must be ready to protect their Industry 4.0 environments.”

Additionally, the report predicts an increase in IoT attack toolkits targeting a broader range of consumer devices, such as virtual reality devices. The opportunities for attackers will also multiply as more devices are connected to the internet, driven by 5G implementations.

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