JANUARY 10, 2014
Your regular source of security updates from TrendLabsSM
In This Issue

Security Spotlight
2013’s Most Notable Spam Trends

Security for Home Users
IoE: Boon or Bomb in the Making?

Security for Business
New Spam Technique: .CPL File Use



Security for Home Users

IoE: Boon or Bomb in the Making?

Just like we predicted, we have yet to see a “killer app,” that one product or service that will capture consumers’ hearts and minds, to become mainstream before we can see real IoE threats.”



The Internet of Everything (IoE) was a new top trend in 2013. But what is it, really? And will it be a norm or simply a fad that’s more trouble than it’s worth?

IoE Explained

IoE refers to how everyday products and appliances are increasingly being designed and manufactured with Internet connectivity in mind. Today’s Internet-connected products range from TVs and refrigerators to cars and even clothing!

Then again, you may be asking: Why connect TVs and refrigerators to the Internet? While it seems like a novelty, Internet connectivity in appliances has proven quite useful. Even if you don’t own a computer, you can now stream videos and browse the Web with your smart TV! Internet-connected refrigerators can also take stock of what’s inside them and tell you if you’re running low on milk and eggs, for instance. Today’s cars can download maps and set routes for you on the fly and even notify you if they’re in need of maintenance.

The Downside

Everything that is Internet-connected is at risk of online threats. We’ve seen this happen with the mobile device boom. Cybercriminals changed targets from computers to mobile devices as soon as the latter gained immense popularity. That said, it isn’t unlikely for them to shift focus again on the Internet-connected home appliances once these are no longer considered novelties.

Smart TVs with facial and voice recognition features can be used to violate your privacy and steal your identity. Cybercriminals can also hijack and take control of your connected car. They can also disable or completely turn off your home security system. Even tracking systems like the AIS can easily be pawned, as our very own researchers showed.

IoE may not just be giving cybercriminals an entirely new platform to play with; it could be giving them an entire ecosystem.

Immediate Threat or Looming Danger?

While the idea of IoE attacks seems serious, and it is, it’s not something you should worry about yet. Why? Because the technology behind IoE is still in its infancy but its underlying infrastructure is indeed bound to be a major attack target by 2015 and beyond.

Just like we predicted, we have yet to see a “killer app,” that one product or service that will capture consumers’ fancy, to become mainstream before we can see real IoE attacks. We’ll see a lot of innovations but probably no massive breakthroughs, with the closest being Google Glass. Until then, we believe cybercriminals will lay low and remain ambivalent about IoE.

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