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Critical Infrastructure at Risk from New Vulnerabilities Found in Industrial IoT Devices

A set of 38 security vulnerabilities has been uncovered in wireless industrial internet of things (IIoT) devices from four different vendors that could pose a significant attack surface for threat actors looking to exploit operational technology (OT) environments.

Threat actors can exploit vulnerabilities in Wireless IIoT devices to gain initial access to internal OT networks. They can use these vulnerabilities to bypass security layers and infiltrate target networks, putting critical infrastructure at risk or interrupting manufacturing.

The flaws, in a nutshell, offer a remote entry point for attack, enabling unauthenticated adversaries to gain a foothold and subsequently use it as leverage to spread to other hosts, thereby causing serious damage.

There’s a reason IoT devices have become so ubiquitous – they really do support and enable greater convenience and efficiency in our lives. But IoT devices, like any device, are subject to security flaws.

IoT devices can create entry points into an enterprise’s environment, and this can cause unpredictable, cascading effects on the organization’s networks. Hackers can weaponize IoT devices to spread malware through a network, take down websites in denial of service campaigns, or even launch DNS rebinding attacks that can turn an employee’s browser into a proxy to attack the network.

Security teams are reassessing the risks associated with these devices. They’re catching up to juggle a range of specialty devices, webcams, and printers. Printers are notorious for being targets of hackers and potential access points to a company’s sensitive data.

Common vulnerabilities include:

  • Weak, guessable, or hard coded passwords.
  • Insecure network services.
  • Lack of ability to securely update devices.
  • Use of deprecated components.
  • Insecure data transfer or storage.
  • Insecure default settings.

The era of remote work during the long pandemic has only added layers of complications for modern security. IoT devices that may have once gotten the job done now sit in empty offices, connected, but forgotten about, not updated, and unsecured. After organizations switched to a work-from-home model, the number of connected IP phones declined by just 7.5%. Some 25% of those IP phones are Cisco IP phones which, if left unpatched, have a critical vulnerability. Even more concerning, connected in-office printers—a known target of hackers—declined by only 0.53%.

Organizations can reduce their risk by disconnecting devices that aren’t in use, but security is still a work in progress for many organizations, and knowing exactly which devices are connected requires hard work, even for well-run security operations.

It is undeniable that IoT connected devices do not provide adequate security protection. In the era of ever-increasing unsafe devices, there is no doubt that they pose a threat to us all. Moreover, security threats are seen as a major hindrance to the development of IoT markets. According to the Internet of Things World, 85% of 170 industry leaders surveyed believe security concerns remain a major barrier to IoT adoption. Often, potential customers are hesitant to purchase IoT objects because they are concerned about them getting compromised.

At the end of 2021, there were 12 billion connected IoT devices, and by 2025, that number will rise to 27 billion.

All these devices will be connected to the internet and will send useful data that will make industries, medicine, and cars more intelligent and more efficient.

However, will all these devices be safe? It’s worth asking what you can do to prevent (or at least reduce) becoming a victim of a cybercrime such as data theft or other forms of cybercrime in the future?

Let us start at the very beginning — most IoT devices come with default and publicly disclosed passwords. Moreover, the fact is that there are many cheap and low-capacity Internet of Things devices that lack even the most basic security.

And that’s not all — security experts are discovering new critical vulnerabilities every day. Numerous IoT devices undergoing security audits repeatedly exhibit the same issues over and over again: remote code execution vulnerabilities at the IP or even radio level, unauthenticated or broken access control mechanisms.

Weak hardware security is one of the issues that have been discovered most frequently. By this complex term, we refer to all the attack possibilities that hackers can exploit when they have an IoT device in their hands: extracting security credentials stored in clear in the device’s memory → Using this data to breach into the servers where the device’s data is sent → sharing or selling these credentials in the “dark web” to remotely attack other devices of the same type, etc.

UMBRA utilizes Helix22 data security encryption which is perfectly designed for the Internet of Things. With Helix22, just look for the “data secured with Helix22” logo and as a consumer you’ll know data is protected.

From The Shadows Emerges Knowledge