The Internet of Things (IoT)—the network of devices embedded with capabilities to collect and exchange information—has long been attracting the attention of cybercriminals as it continues to gain momentum in terms of its adoption. Gartner has estimated that more than 20.8 billion IoT devices will be in use by 2020; IoT will be leveraged by over half of major business processes and systems, with enterprises projected to lead in driving IoT revenue.
How can cybercriminals potentially take advantage of this? Despite being equipped with new applications and hardware, most IoT devices are furnished with outdated connection protocols and operating systems (OS). Remotely controlled lightbulbs and WiFi-enabled In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) systems, for instance, are mostly run in Linux and developed in C language without safe compiler options. They also use dated connection protocols such as TCP/IP (1989, RFC 1122), ZigBee (2004 specification) and CAN 2.0 (1991), which when exploited can open up the device to remote access.