Cybercriminals seem to be out for blood these days. They have been stepping up attacks lately, making them nastier and more widespread.

With so many sophisticated tools at their disposal, it’s hard to imagine them targeting your refrigerator. But that’s exactly what’s happening.

Not just your fridge either, pretty much all of your smart gadgets are being targeted. They are being used to perform cyberattacks all across the globe.

FBI sends stern warning

The FBI just sent out a public service announcement (PSA), warning everyone about cybercriminals targeting their smart gadgets. The PSA said cyber actors are using Internet of Things (IoT) devices as proxies for anonymity and pursuit of malicious cyber activities.

In English that means hackers are searching for smart devices with vulnerabilities to exploit. They are targeting your router, audio and video streaming devices, IP cameras, DVRs, smart appliances, and more.

Once they hack into your gadget, they use them to route malicious traffic for cyberattacks and exploit computer networks. It’s a really sneaky way for criminals to stay anonymous.

They can do this by hacking your smart devices and sending cyberattacks using YOUR IP address. How scary is that?

Law enforcement can track criminal activity right back to you even when it’s not your fault. Americans’ gadgets are especially being targeted. That’s because many business websites block traffic from suspicious or foreign IP addresses. By using your IP address, the attack appears to be coming from someone in the U.S.

Criminals are sending spam emails, generating click-fraud activity, selling botnets to other cybercriminals and more. All with the help of our IoT devices. The good news is you can fight back!

Outsmarting cybercriminals

If your IoT gadgets are compromised, it can be difficult to detect. But here are a few things to watch for:

A major spike in monthly internet usage, larger than normal internet bills, devices become slow or inoperable, unusual outgoing Domain Name Service queries and outgoing traffic, or internet connections running slow.

There are also steps you can take to protect your gadgets. Here are suggestions from the FBI that will help:

  • Reboot IoT devices regularly, as most malware is stored in memory and removed upon a reboot. It is important to do this regularly as many hackers compete for the same pool of devices and use automated scripts to identify vulnerabilities and infect them.
  • Change default usernames and passwords.
  • Use anti-virus software and ensure that it is up to date.
  • Ensure all IoT gadgets are up to date and security patches are incorporated.
  • Configure network firewalls to block traffic from unauthorized IP addresses and disable port forwarding.
  • Isolate IoT devices from other network connections.

We mentioned earlier that your router is always under attack. Tap or click here to find out what criminals can do when they hack into it.

Protecting your gadgets

Keeping your gadgets protected from cybercriminals is one of the most important steps in digital security. Want to know who Kim recommends for TOTAL online privacy that makes SENSE?

Tap or click here to learn about our sponsor F-Secure.

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