Nokia’s latest Threat Intelligence Report has warned that cyberattacks on internet-connected devices are continuing to rise at an “alarming rate” due to poor security protections. The report found that IoT devices now make up 33% of infected devices, up from 16% in 2019.
According to the report, the most affected IoT devices are those that are routinely assigned public-facing internet IP addresses. It highlighted that networks that use carrier-grade Network Address Translation see the infection rate of IoT devices reduced considerably because the vulnerable devices are not visible to network scans.
Commenting on the findings in the report, Bhaskar Gorti, Nokia Software President and Chief Digital Officer, said:
“The sweeping changes that are taking place in the 5G ecosystem, with even more 5G networks being deployed around the world as we move to 2021, open ample opportunities for malicious actors to take advantage of vulnerabilities in IoT devices. This report reinforces not only the critical need for consumers and enterprises to step up their own cyber protection practices, but for IoT device producers to do the same.”
Pivoting away from IoT devices, the report also looks at how cybercriminals have used the COVID-19 pandemic to launch cyberattacks. It said that criminals are using people’s fears to spread malware, for example, it said that a coronavirus map application mimicked the Johns Hopkins University app and deployed malware on the devices it was installed on. To protect against these types of attacks, Nokia’s report suggests that people should only install applications from trusted sources such as Google and Apple.