AUGUST 15, 2014
Your regular source of security updates from TrendLabsSM
In This Issue

Security Spotlight
The Two Sides of the Bitcoin

Security for Home Users
A Homeowner’s Guide to “Smart Living”

Security for Business
The Role of Backdoors in Targeted Attacks



Security for Home Users

A Homeowner’s Guide to “Smart Living”

While the Internet of Everything (IoE) or the Internet of Things (IoT) makes living a lot easier, it can also lead to trickier and more convoluted security implications.”



More and more gadgets are becoming “smarter” at exponential speeds. Features keener to users’ needs are making lives more convenient.

Intelligent connected devices are making their way into homes worldwide, from smart TVs to utility meters to locks. While the Internet of Everything (IoE) or the Internet of Things (IoT) makes living a lot easier, it can also lead to trickier and more convoluted security implications.

The ongoing smartification process, evidenced by the prevalence of smart home devices worldwide, has been raising a lot of security-related questions. A single vulnerability can turn into a cybercriminal weapon. So, to more safely ride the wave of smart home device use, take a look at some key considerations before taking the next step:

  • Username/Password considerations: A well-designed smart device has an authentication capability to only allow its owner access and control over it. Create and use hard-to-guess passwords with complex alphanumeric combinations to keep it tamper proof.

  • Updateability: Updates keep smart devices in shape. To properly and securely function, manufacturers should regularly provide updates that users should download.

  • Encryption: Properly implementing encryption is important to keep smart devices safe from any type of intrusion or disruption. Fully encrypting firmware updates and network communications protect devices from malicious monitoring, control, and even alteration.

  • Open ports: Keeping ports open makes smart devices susceptible to attacks. While manufacturers leave some ports open for communication, these can open up the external attack surface, generally increasing security risks.

  • Power dependency: Several smart devices, including those attached to smart hubs, largely depend on batteries to operate. Smart devices that run out of power cease to operate and leave users open to physical risks, as when security sensors fail to properly function.

  • Vulnerabilities: Cybercriminals take advantage of vulnerabilities to exploit devices. Read up and assess the vulnerabilities in smart devices to better understand potential issues. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Live not just a “smart” life but a safe one as well.

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