Recently, a serious attack on the infrastructure of the web rendered major sites like Netflix and Google inaccessible to many North American web users.

Here’s where maker pros should pay attention: though the outages were caused by a distributed denial of service attack — a common hack that overloads web servers by overwhelming them with requests — it swiftly became clear that the devices perpetrating the hijinks were not a botnet of personal computers, as is generally the case, but a zombie army of Internet of Things devices like DVRs and security cameras that had been hijacked by malware.

The incident is a wakeup call to Internet of Things developers and an embarrassment to those whose devices were infected. Chinese electronics outfit Hangzhou Xiongmai, whose cameras were implicated in the attack, has already issued a recall for its vulnerable devices.

If similar attacks follow, it could undermine trust in the Internet of Things among consumers when confidence is already weak. According to a worrisome recent study, some 40 percent of Americans expressed no confidence in the security and privacy of connected devices.

Coincidentally, former Make: Contributing Editor Alasdair Allan (@aallan) expressed skepticism about the security of internet-connected security cameras on stage earlier last month at ThingMonk 2016.

“Right now, at least, IP cameras are one of the most vulnerable things in the entire Internet of Things,” he said. “They’re widely used, they’re widely deployed — mostly by people that don’t know a lot about them — and even when the manufacturers do publish security updates, which is not a given, most people don’t apply them.”

Source: Maker Pro (used with permission)