#483 October 26, 2016 – Internet of Things Attack Takes Down the Web

This week’s headline story: Internet of Things Attack Takes Down the Web

DDoS attack shows dangers of IoT 'running rampant'
DDoS attack shows dangers of IoT ‘running rampant’

A cybersecurity attack that brought down half the Web for two hours Friday morning ushers in a new era of hacking. The attack used Internet-enabled cameras as a platform to launch a huge Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack against Inernet performance management company Dyn. The attackers exploited default passwords in web cams and other Internet-connected hardware to send a monstrous 1.2 trillion bits of data every second at Dyn’s servers. Hangzhou Xiongmai Technology, a Chinese electronics company, has acknowledged that weak default passwords on many of its devices were partly to blame for the attack and is recalling millions of Web-enabled cameras that were sold in the U.S.

Security experts are blaming the rise of increasingly massive DDoS attacks on the rapidly expanding number of network-connected devices on the Internet of Things (IoT). Earlier this month, researchers at Akamai Technologies noted that weak protections on IoT devices has helped to create the “Internet of Unpatchable Things.” Cybersecurity experts are calling for standardized security measures for connected devices like webcams, printers and routers in the wake of a massive cyber attack.

other Technology Headlines…

  • Sweden’s highest court bans drones with cameras [ars technica]
    The Supreme Administrative Court of Sweden has ruled that all drone cameras count as surveillance devices, and as such, can only be used to prevent crime or accidents, banning the use of camera drones by the general public. Car- or bike-mounted cameras are legally fine the court decided.
  • Pittsburgh’s AI Traffic Signals Will Make Driving Less Boring [IEEE Spectrum]
    Traffic congestion costs the U.S. economy $121 billion a year, mostly due to lost productivity, and produces about 25 billion kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions. In urban areas, drivers spend 40 percent of their time idling in traffic. One major contributor to the problem is traffic light technology that is not responsive to traffic needs. New smart artificial-intelligence-fueled traffic signals have been developed by a new startup company named Surtrac, that adapt to changing traffic conditions on the fly. In pilot tests in Pittsburgh, the smart traffic-management system has reduced travel time by 25 percent and idling time by over 40 percent.

and in Tech Industry News…

  • Tesla Equipping Cars To Drive Completely on Their Own [NewsFactor]
    Tesla Motors is starting to build its electric cars with all the sensors, cameras and other gear needed to drive completely on their own when regulations allow the technology to take over that responsibility. After additional testing and getting the necessary regulatory clearance, all the cars rolling off Tesla’s assembly lines will have the equipment needed to be fully autonomous, says CEO Elon Musk who believes the technology will be twice as safe as a human driver.
  • Microsoft Stock Pushes to an All-Time High [NewsFactor]
    Microsoft’s quarterly earnings exceeded investor expectations last week, fueled by growth in sales of server software and the company’s range of cloud-computing offerings. The optimistic report boosted the company’s share price to all-time highs in after-hours trading.
  • AT&T To Acquire Time Warner for More than $108 Billion [NewsFactor]
    AT&T has made a bid to acquire Time Warner for more than $108 billion. If approved, the deal would give AT&T control of some of the most valuable content companies in the world, including Warner Bros. Entertainment, DC Comics and HBO as well as television networks TNT, TBS, and CNN.

and finally…

  • Uber’s First Self-Driven Truck Delivery Was a Beer Run [NewsFactor]
    Otto, the self-driving truck startup that was acquired by Uber for $700 million, has completed the world’s first completely autonomous commercial freight delivery. It’s cargo? 45,000 bottles of beer. Budweiser to be precise.

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