In the light of the of the website outages on the East coast last week, we are more aware than ever of the need to empower ourselves and lessen the options to hackers. Last week’s hack took down Netfix, Amazon, The New York Times and a few others websites on the east coast. The outage was facilitated by the use of digitally connected devices that were commandeered by hackers to send a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on Dyn Inc., a significant Domain Name Server provider. Dyn’s servers that hosted these company’s websites. http://opensources.info/major-us-east-coast-hack/
In the past, hackers targeted specific websites in the same way by sending thousands of packages or DDNs messages to a site causing it to shut the site down. They have now moved their focus to attacking the servers that host multiple sites and create as much discomfort as possible. A few weeks ago such attack was an attack on a military facility.
Drew FitzGerald of the Wall Street Journal reported that hackers used an army of hijacked security cameras and video recorders to launch several massive internet attacks last week, prompting fresh concern about the vulnerability of millions of “smart” devices in homes and businesses connected to the internet. Two weeks later we have the attack that blacked out internet services on the US east coast.
For businesses and consumers this brings heightened awareness of the need to protect themselves from unwanted intrusion attacks by securing their online devices.
Here are some ways to secure your devices:
- Password protect all your devices with strong passwords.
- Change the factory pre-set password on all devices. The instructions are located in the manual of each device.
- Update and encrypt all devices when software updates become available. Updates are ways of closing application loopholes in the software and keeping your device secure.
- Disconnect devices when they are not in use unless they need to be online at all times.
- Replace devices that are more than four years old. Newer models provide greater security and encryption protection.