Report: More than 1 billion IoT attacks in 2021

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There has been an incredible growth in recent years of “smart” devices that make up the expanding IoT universe, such as security cameras, game platforms, TVs, appliances, doorbells and more. However, according to a new report from SAM Seamless Network, these devices are increasingly becoming an attack vector for individuals and businesses. The company reported more than a billion attacks in 2021; more than 900 million of those were IoT related.

Of the networks surveyed, 50% of home and micro-enterprise networks experienced an attack or suspicious network traffic by 2021, including DDoS, brute force attacks, phishing and DPI policy-based attacks. In addition, the researchers found increasing activity from both the Mirai and Mozi malware families. Perhaps the most surprising result was which devices were most vulnerable to attack. According to the report, routers were responsible for 46% of all attacks analysed. Other common vulnerable devices included extenders and mesh (17%), access points (17%), NAS (5%), VoIP (4%), cameras (3%) and smart home devices (3%).

The high number of IoT-based attacks can be attributed to a number of factors. First, there is a general lack of security in the IoT ecosystem, especially for consumers or micro-enterprises who may not be aware of the risk these devices pose. In addition, there is a wide diversity of OEMs and operating systems in the IoT ecosystem, which can often lead to a fragmented approach to security updates (if at all).

The rising activity of Mirai and Mozi is also an important trend to keep an eye on. We’ve seen variants of the infamous Mirai botnet since 2016 that routinely target IoT devices, and we still see it targeting IoT devices and home routers. 2021 also saw the Mirai and Mozi botnets continue to add significant new capabilities and expand their attack range to target additional devices.

The report is based on data collected from 132 million active IoT devices and 730,000 secure networks, which has been anonymized for the purpose of the report.

Read the full SAM Seamless Network report.

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