IoT News Roundup

Insecure IoT devices helped take down list of popular websites; Vodafone expanding connectivity offerings via satellite coverage; Jabil, Verizon Ventures invest in Verdigris; Autodesk integrates predicative maintenance software into Fusion platform; YunOS to use Gemalto identity-management services for IoT devices; opens beacon showroom in Berlin; Orange Launches Datavenue Service Worldwide.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Oct 21, 2016

For Second Time, IoT Devices Leveraged in Major DDoS Attack

Internet users looking for The New York Times and a list of other sites, including Netflix and Reddit, were served blank screens for a time on Friday. Dyn, the Internet infrastructure company headquartered in New Hampshire that provides Domain Name System (DNS) services to those and many other websites, had been the victim of a massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. This is one of two large DDoS attacks that occurred within the past month and were caused by Mirai, malware that was designed specifically to leverage Internet of Things devices with poorly protected passwords. In September 2016, the same malware—which the hackers later made available to other hackers by posting it online—was used in an attempt to take down, the website of Brian Krebs, an investigative reporter who covers cybersecurity.

Dyn says it has fully recovered from the attack, but that the parties behind the attack have not been discovered. For a post about the attack, however, Krebs spoke with Allison Nixon, director of research at Flashpoint, a security research firm, who said Friday's attack involved mainly compromised DVRs and IP cameras made by Chinese hi-tech company XiongMai Technologies, which makes components sold to vendors who use them in consumer-facing products.

Krebs wrote:"…many of these products from XiongMai and other makers of inexpensive, mass-produced IoT devices are essentially unfixable, and will remain a danger to others unless and until they are completely unplugged from the Internet. That's because while many of these devices allow users to change the default usernames and passwords on a Web-based administration panel that ships with the products, those machines can still be reached via more obscure, less user-friendly communications services called 'Telnet' and 'SSH.'"

Vodafone Adds Satellite Coverage to IoT Services

Telecommunications provider Vodafone, which works with businesses to connect vehicles and other assets to the Internet of Things via its cellular network, and which recently completed a test of the newly standardized narrowband LTE network, has forged a roaming agreement with Inmarsat, a provider of global mobile satellite communications, through which Vodafone will also be able to offer international satellite and cellular roaming connectivity for IoT devices.

The companies say the collaboration will support greater reliability and reach, enabling Vodafone to offer more competitive and flexible IoT services, especially for networks deployed in remote regions with poor cellular connectivity in such industries as agriculture and energy, or in the transportation sector. Through the agreement, Vodafone customers will access Inmarsat's I-4 satellite network, which provides global coverage. The service is expected to be made commercially available during the first half of 2017.

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