Nokia has recently launched its Threat Intelligence Report for 2019

IoT botnet activity accounted for 78 per cent of malware detection events in communication service provider (CSP) networks in 2018, according to an industry report published by Nokia.

The figure represents a sharp increase from 33 per cent last year, with Nokia warning that CSPs and operators must be on their guard against rising threat levels. 

“Cyber criminals are switching gears from the traditional computer and smartphone ecosystems and now targeting the growing number of vulnerable IoT devices that are being deployed. You have thousands of IoT device manufacturers wanting to move product fast to market and, unfortunately, security is often an afterthought,” said Kevin McNamee, director of Nokia’s Threat Intelligence Lab and lead author of the report. In 2018, IoT bots made up 16 per cent of infected devices in CSP networks, up significantly from the 3.5 per cent observed in 2017. 

Nokia’s Threat Intelligence Report 2019 found that the processes involved in crypto currency mining was expanding from high-end servers with specialised processors to IoT devices as well as smartphones and web browsers. 

The report highlighted that many IoT devices were found to be lacking in terms of security while increasing levels of technical sophistication are giving cyber criminals broader scope for successfully launching IoT device attacks.

“Cyber criminals have increasingly smart tools to scan for and to quickly exploit vulnerable devices, and they have new tools for spreading their malware and bypassing firewalls. If a vulnerable device is deployed on the internet, it will be exploited in a matter of minutes,” McNamee said.