Tuesday, October 25, 2016
I Wonder Just What This Sort Of Disruption To The Global Internet Might Have On E-Health.
It was a bad day for the Global Internet last Friday.
Here is a report:
Almost everyone affected by the cyberattack had a part to play — from shipping shoddy devices to a consumer apathy towards security.
Friday morning saw the largest internet blackout in US history. Almost every corner of the web was affected in some way -- streaming services like Spotify, social sites like Twitter and Reddit, and news sites like Wired and Vox appeared offline to vast swathes of the eastern seaboard.
After suffering three separate distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, Dyn, the domain name system provider for hundreds of major websites, recovered and the web started to spring back to life.
The flooding attack was designed to overload systems and prevent people from accessing the sites they want on a scale never seen before this.
All signs point to a massive botnet utilizing the Internet of Things, powered by malware known as Mirai, which allows the botnet's operator to turn a large number of internet-connected devices -- surveillance cameras, smart home devices, and even baby monitors -- against a single target.
In this case, it was Dyn's servers.
"We're seeing attacks coming from an Internet of Things botnet that we identified called Mirai, also involved in this attack," said Dale Drew, chief security officer at Level 3, in a live stream on Friday, during a time where information about the attack was still scarce.
Level 3 and other firms, including Sophos, said that only a fraction of the half-a-million devices in the botnet were used in the attack, suggesting it could be far more powerful if used again.
Chester Wisniewski, principal research scientist at security firm Sophos, said that this demonstrates "incredible power wielded by just one type of device," and argued that harnessing the power of tens of millions of insecure smart devices "could cause incredible disruptions."
Lots more here:
Almost prophetically we say this a day or so earlier.
The director of the Australian Centre for Cyber Security at UNSW in Canberra has delivered a scathing attack on the IoT industry
Stuart Corner (Computerworld)18 October, 2016 09:31
Professor Jill Slay, the director of the Australian Centre for Cyber Security at UNSW in Canberra, has delivered a scathing attack on the IoT industry for failing to design in security, on the vendor community for peddling false promises, and bemoaned what she sees as a general lack of leadership in cyber security.
Delivering a speech at the Everything IoT conference in Sydney, Slay opened her presentation by telling the audience: “I am the person who is going to pour cold water on all your enthusiasm.”
Of her role, and that of other security researchers she said: “We have hacked every kind of device you can imagine. We walk a few steps behind you agile people who adopt new things. Then we attack them and tell you why you shouldn’t use them. That is who we are. … Our mantra is: ‘Don’t bolt on the security afterwards, build it in at the beginning.’ Security by design. Hack it to death yourself.”
She called on all involved in IoT in Australia to develop a culture of security as a matter of urgency. “The Internet of things has a bright shiny future, but we are way past the beginning already. We need to build in the security now. “I commend you all for your excitement and I trust you will secure everything. Let us develop a culture of security as we develop a culture of agility.
Meanwhile she accused vendors of making unrealistic promises about their technologies. “I live in Canberra. What I see is the vendor solution to everything. It would appear that we just have to buy the right tool and the right vendor training for the tool and then we will see a system that is secure. If anybody promises you that, it is just not true.”
Lots more here:
There is little doubt this was one of the largest disruption to the Internet in the US that has been seen in a good while.
Reading about this it seems to me that the classical medical approach of ‘prevention is better than cure’ is even truer than ever! This is an issue that is of rather larger scope than e-Health!
For e-Health clearly the risk in all this is a prolonged inability to access information which is held on the web or in the cloud.
It makes sense that, when planning to use remote services, at least some questions are asked of prospective service providers as to the mechanisms steps they have in place to mitigate risk from Denial of Service attacks and so on.
It was also really interesting to see just how quickly the attacks became major news. There is a lot of dependency on the net these days!
Posted by Dr David More MB PhD FACHI at Tuesday, October 25, 2016