If you are like me, you have a few sets of passwords that you have been using for years because, let’s face it, creating passwords is annoying and trying to remember them is even worse. I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your current password or lack of password might be making you a target for hackers.
One of the largest dangers in the cyber world lately has been the Mirai malware, which has recently been leveraged to create some of the most powerful Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on record. The malware finds Internet of Things (IoT) equipment that can be controlled through a central device (ex.: routers and webcams) and creates bots that flood the servers with malicious traffic impeding the traffic in these servers. The hacker “Anna-Senpai” created this malware and posted the code on different hacker forums.
The biggest issue with the devices this malware is used to attack is that the equipment does not have any way to notify users when they are infected. Think about it. On our computers we have anti-virus and other software that protect our information. These do not, which makes the problem harder notice and resolve.
That is when the password becomes essential! Many users do not know that IoT devices usually come with a default password. Mirai, and other similar exploits, specifically target equipment that are still using the default password after installation because default passwords are predictable.
Some devices come with default passwords that cannot be changed or parts come from third-party manufacturers that do not worry about security as much as they should. Other companies are far more proactive about security. According to Reuters, technology company Hangzhou Xiongmai has issued a recall on some of the products and sent users a patch for other devices to fix the problem.
If you are still wondering how important it is to change your passwords from simple to complex ones, take a look at the website created by cyber security experts Kaspersky Lab. In the website, you can experiment with different combinations of passwords and see how fast they can be hacked. Entering your own password is not recommended for security reasons.
If you have several IoT devices on your network, another preventive measure is to make sure Universal Plug and Play (UPnP), which allows all devices connected to the network to automatically “see” each other, is disabled on your devices. This feature being active makes it easier for the malware to attack not just one, but all of your devices.
That is one advantage that our customers have here at MRS Electronic, Inc. All of our products are designed in-house. Security is our main concern and it definitely affects how our products are built. Our engineers work relentlessly to ensure that our program designs are secure from the ground up and put projects through constant review throughout development to spot and remove any code that may present any vulnerabilities.