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There’s been an incredible growth over the past few years of “smart” devices that comprise the expanding IoT universe, such as security cameras, gaming platforms, TVs, appliances, doorbells and more. However, these devices are increasingly becoming a vector of attack for individuals and businesses, according to a new report by SAM Seamless Network. The company reported more than one billion attacks occurred in 2021; more than 900 million of those were IoT-related.

In fact, out of those studied, 50% of home and micro business networks experienced an attack or suspicious network traffic behavior in 2021, including DDoS, brute force attacks, phishing, and DPI policy-based attacks. Additionally, the researchers found rising activity from both the Mirai and Mozi malware families. Perhaps the most surprising result was which devices were most vulnerable to attack. According to the report, routers accounted for 46% of all attacks analyzed. Other common vulnerable devices included extenders & mesh (17%), access points (17%), NAS (5%), VoIP (4%), cameras (3%) and smart home devices (3%). 

The large volume of IoT-based attacks can be attributed to a number of factors. For one, there is a general lack of security in the IoT ecosystem, particularly for consumers or micro-businesses who may not be aware of the risk those devices pose. Additionally, there is great diversity in OEMs and operating systems in the IoT ecosystem, which can often lead to a fragmented approach to security updates (if they are done at all). 

The rising activity of Mirai and Mozi is also a significant trend to watch. We have seen variants of the notorious Mirai botnet routinely targeting IoT devices since 2016 and we continue to see it targeting IoT devices and home routers. In 2021, we also saw the Mirai and Mozi botnets continue to add significant new capabilities and broaden their scope of attack to target additional devices.

The report is based on data collected from 132 million active IoT devices and 730,000 secure networks, which were anonymized for the purpose of the report. 

Read the full report by SAM Seamless Network.

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