BOTNETS: When IOT Goes Rogue



In a world thriving on interconnectivity, one big development over the last 10 years is not just the invention of IoT devices, but the availability of those devices.  Not only do they extend internet connectivity beyond the standard desktop or laptop, they’ve been developed to touch every aspect of our lives. From toys and watches for our kids, to smart coffee pots, to smart city technologies that assist with weather readings and traffic predictions.  What we don’t realize is just how vulnerable these devices can be. We think, why would someone want to access my washing machine or my toaster?


Smart devices can be programmed and often controlled from your Smart phone in a way that allows you to rest easy when you’re away from home; or make the small things in life a little less worrisome, while you focus on the big goals at work or that family time you’ve been craving. In addition to everyday household uses, smart devices have been developed to assist businesses and state operations in more complex ways.

So, what’s so bad about all this? Having Internet-connected devices that go unchecked and unprotected provides vulnerabilities that criminal specialists are looking for.  No, no one is going to hack into your refrigerator and make it start spitting out food or saying weird things like “are you sure you want to eat that?” and your coffee pot will not take you hostage.  When control of those devices are taken over and bound to a larger network, a Botnet is formed. Businesses have the option of paying for monitoring and network security, but most people don’t think about the impact of these devices within their homes.


Botnets are primarily used in Denial of Service (DOS) Attacks and you can learn more about this by watching this video. The point is this: when these simple and smart tools go unchecked and unprotected, my favorite toaster can become part of a large, nefarious network all while I am sleeping. Unfortunately, the criminals who specialize in this type of activity know exactly what they’re looking for.

To learn more about how you can take the blinders off and protect your IoT devices, start by watching this video with Director of Intelligence Services, Monty St John.

Worried about your business and IoT devices? We can help your business look for Vulnerabilities and provide Patch Management solutions.

About the author

Monty St John

Monty is a security professional with more than two decades of experience in threat intelligence, digital forensics, malware analytics, quality services, software engineering, development, IT/informatics, project management and training. He is an ISO 17025 laboratory auditor and assessor, reviewing and auditing 40+ laboratories. Monty is also a game designer and publisher who has authored more than 24 products and 35 editorial works.