Eugene Kaspersky: Internet Of Things? More Like The Internet Of Threats

robot chase ©patrimonio designs ltd / shutterstock

Security icon sounds dire warning over the security of the Internet of Things

One of the security industry’s leading luminaries has sounded a dire warning surrounding the security of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Speaking to NBC television, Eugene Kaspersky warned that cybercriminals will soon be aiming their attacks at connected devices such as smart televisions and even wearables devices.

But he also said he expects more attacks targeting Apple’s Mac and iPhone platforms as hackers try and gain higher rewards by hitting more users.

“I am afraid that in the very near future we will see very bad incidents, maybe global incidents, from attacks which are designed for Mac or for Android systems,” he said, “and maybe in the future there are iPhones, iPads, then smart TVs, then maybe smartwatches, then smart cars, smart coffee machines, vacuum cleaners, smart houses, etc etc.

“You call it Internet of Things – I call it Internet of Threats.”

Under threat

400px-Eugene_Kaspersky_2011 WikimediaKaspersky went on to describe the potential kind of attacks he envisages could hit some of the new platforms, and what methods the cybercriminals could use.

This includes stealing online or mobile banking details by hacking a smartphone, or obtaining medical data from a fitness tracker or smartwatch

But the attacks could also extend to devices such as smart televisions, with criminals using ransomware attacks to broadcast a message onto the TV screen demanding payment to free the device.

“Take any device – and then think about the possible scenarios for criminal attacks, what kind of profits criminals can have from attacking the device,” he added.

“When you have a new device, we as a security company need to analyse the possible criminal scenarios, possible attacks, on this device – and then when we have a look at the Smart TV or other new devices, unfortunately in the future we expect that criminals will attack them as well.”

These security fears may prove well-placed, as a recent report from analyst firm IDC predicted that 90 percent of all IT networks will have an IoT-based security breach within the next two years.

This rise in attacks will see many chief information security officers (CISOs) forced to adopt new IoT policies to ensure their employees and their business remain secure when using a range of devices.

Kaspersky recently announced that it had detected 2.2 billion attacks on computers and mobile devices in just the first quarter of 2015, double the amount blocked in the same period last year.

This includes 469 million attacks launched from online resources located all over the world, a third (32.8 percent) more than in Q1 of 2014, with over 253 million unique malicious and potentially unwanted objects detected by the company.

What do you know about the Internet of Things? Take our quiz!