|Next big security threat: UPnP|
It seems that nearly every month there’s a new security threat to a company’s networks and computer systems, it really never ends does it?. A lot of the recent threats have taken advantage of software bugs or glitches, but a recent warning from numerous security institutions takes aim at hardware found in every office and home.
At the end of January, numerous news and tech media services issued warnings about UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) enabled devices. This was taken to be a big issue because of the widespread adoption of these devices and the fact that many of them have little to no security measures, which could open whole systems to attacks. Many business owners and managers are wondering what exactly is UPnP and how it can open systems to attack.
A good example of UPnP in use is your laptop. When you first connect your laptop to your router, you likely have to enter a password and maybe even the router’s network name. Without UPnP you would have to find the network and enter the password each time you want to connect to the Internet. With UPnP, your laptop can automatically connect whenever it’s in range.
Why is UPnP a security threat?
Because of the sheer number of devices that use this protocol, and the fact that it’s engineered to respond to any request to connect to the device, it makes sense that this could be a security issue. A recent study tested the security of UPnP and revealed some interesting results.
Rapid7, the company that conducted the study, sent UPnP discovery requests to every routable IPv4 address. – IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) is a set of protocols for sending information from one computer to another on the Internet. A routable IPv4 address is one that can be contacted by anyone on the Internet. They found that over 80 million addresses used UPnP, and 17 million of these exposed the protocol that enables easy connection to the system or device. This can be easily exploited by hackers.
In other words, 17 million systems, many of which could be businesses, are open to attack through the UPnP device. This security threat opens networks to denial-of-service attacks which make resources, including the Internet, unavailable to the user. One example of a popular denial-of-service attack is a hacker making your website unavailable to others.
Can we do anything?
We recommend contacting an expert like ourselves, who can conduct a security analysis and advise you on steps you can take to ensure you are secure. So, if you are worried about the security of your systems, give us a call today. We may have a solution for you.
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
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