Definition

Thing hacking

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: A comprehensive guide to enterprise IoT project success
Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Thing hacking is an attack that exploits a vulnerability in a connected non-computing device – a Thing, in the Internet of Things --  to gain control of the device or access to a network it connects to.

The IoT provides an increased surface attack surface, in part by adding many items not typically considered when setting up a network, which means that security may not be adequately addressed. This situation translates to more and softer targets that could yield access to a target network.

Many devices have been the target of Thing hacks in real-world environments as well as the confines of research labs and proof of concept (POC) hacking at conventions. Connected fridges have been hacked to send spam and smart bulbs have been hacked to gain network access. Home security systems have been hacked for entry as well as IP surveillance and cars have been hacked and remotely controlled.

For IoT security, it's crucial for manufacturers and developers to ensure that technologies are as secure as possible. When products are deployed, it's important to implement effective settings and passwords and check for firmware and software updates.

This was last updated in October 2015

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It's only a matter of time before something really serious happens. My question is why would a fridge, coffee maker or other any other appliance need to be connected to the internet? I most definitely would not connect my home door locks and entry points. That's just insane. You already have seen how they can hack into your cars. It seems there will soon be no way to be "off the grid".
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