MEASURE YOURSELF FOR A TINFOIL SUIT, you are at serious risk from a whole range of cyber threats, including toasters and bloody toilets.
We don't know if you recall 2016. It was a tough time, we lost a lot of good people and we made some political decisions that we are all struggling to adapt to. We also saw a thing called Mirai form a botnet that brought a lot of places to their knees and used the Internet of Things (IoT) as its main weapon.
Akamai is a security company that takes a look at the last year and produces a report on it. It does this quarterly, and it calls the report the Global State of the Internet/Security report. The latest, which is just out, says that 2016 was very much the year of Mirai, at least it looks like it was.
"As we saw with the Mirai botnet attacks during the third quarter, unsecured IoT devices continued to drive significant DDoS attack traffic," said Martin McKeay, senior security advocate and senior editor of the report.
"With the predicted exponential proliferation of these devices, threat agents will have an expanding pool of resources to carry out attacks, validating the need for companies to increase their security investments. Additional emerging system vulnerabilities are expected before devices become more secure."
However, Mirai was not the only botnet on the block and it was not even the biggest. That honour goes to one called Spike. This significant attack peaked at 517Gbps and has been around as a botnet since 2014.
Mega attacks, which the firm started making loud noises about last year, are still a concern to Akamai and it says that there were ten attacks in the last quarter that weighed in at 100Gbps, of these seven were related to Mirai.
As for the future, well Akamai reckons that it is going to be full of shocks. "If anything, our analysis of Q4 2016 proves the old axiom ‘expect the unexpected' to be true for the world of web security," added McKeay.
"For example, perhaps the attackers in control of Spike felt challenged by Mirai and wanted to be more competitive. If that's the case, the industry should be prepared to see other botnet operators testing the limits of their attack engines, generating ever larger attacks." µ
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