Webcams recalled after the massive internet attacks last week

The massive internet attack last week has led to the U.S. recall of a Chinese-made webcam, according to the BBC.

What’s next? Connected toasters, networked baby monitors, wired DVRs and home thermometers that you can control remotely?


The attacks, which made major sites such as Twitter, Spotify, PayPal and others hard to reach, started in the East Coast early Friday morning and spread like a wave to the West Coast and Europe.

In a column, I wrote about how unsettling it was like to find sites down throughout the day.

Over the weekend, researchers identified a supposed weakness in the online security system — network-connected devices such as baby monitors, cameras and other internet-connected technologies.

Hackers took over these devices on Friday and launched an attack to overwhelm Dyn, a New Hampshire-based firm that routes network traffic for major sites.

In a statement Saturday, Dyn said “we know this was a sophisticated, highly distributed attack involving 10s of millions of IP addresses.”

After its products were identified in aiding in the Friday attack, Hangzhou Xiongmai, a Chinese electronics firm that makes the cameras, issued the recall.

The company said that hackers were able to over take the devices because customers hadn’t changed the default passwords.

But the recall — affecting all the circuit boards and components made by Hangzhou Xiongmai that go into webcams — may be just the beginning of an effort to tighten security of so-called smart devices.

Experts offered advice for protecting privacy and security, including changing default passwords on all devices, even devices that one would think didn’t have a password, according to NBC News.

But unless these devices are better protected, the internet remains vulnerable, and these attacks hit business hard.

[graphiq id=”4Qq9tqLtrhj” title=”Annual Cost of Cybercrime for Businesses” width=”600″ height=”502″ url=”” link=”” link_text=”Visualization by Graphiq” ]

Photo: A man types on a computer keyboard. (AP)


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