An electronics maker from China issued a recall for several millions of products that it had sold in the United States. The move comes after a cyber-attack last week took down important websites like Twitter, Reddit, PayPal and Netflix. There is a link between the cyber-attack and the electronic products of the Chinese company. But the company has come out very strongly against any critics who might want to make a connection. The Chinese electronics maker insists that its devices were not responsible for what happened.
The Cyber-Attack Last Friday
Last Friday the internet experienced an unprecedented cyber-attack that took down a significant portion of internet infrastructure. The attack used a botnet from IoT devices. IoT, “internet of things”, devices are electronic devices like smart TVs, DVRs, printers that connect to the internet. They are largely unsecured and can easily be coopted as part of an attack. The DDoS attack paralyzed Dyn servers, a major DNS host. Since Dyn hosts many of the websites that people use every day, the cyber-attack brought a large part of the internet to a halt. People in the United States and in Europe complained that they could carry on with what they were doing. The cyber-attack was very disruptive and it also drew attention that something like this is possible.
The Chinese electronics maker is part of the incident through its IoT products that became part of the cyber-attack. This Friday millions of electronic devices from the Chinese company Hangzhou Xiongmai Technology were coopted in the cyber-attack. The company issued a recall and a statement on the subject. According to the statement by Hangzhou Xiongmai Technology, customers who used their electronic devices did not change the default password that the products came with. That left them vulnerable to an attack. According to the statement, the electronic devices affected were cameras that connected to the internet and digital recorders.
Hangzhou Xiongmai Technology Recalls Products
The hack last Friday made the fears of internet security experts a reality. For some time, experts have warned that the average home simply has too many electronic devices that can connect to the internet. The smart home has smart gadgets, smart appliances and even smart automobiles that can connect to the internet and communicate. Unlike a computer, these are left unattended most of the time. Also, they are very poorly secured if they are secured at all. This leads to a nightmare in terms of cybersecurity. The convenience of being able to control electronics like your smart thermostat or your smart washing machine through the Web comes with a cyber security risk. These IoT devices are vulnerable to malicious attacks.
This Monday, Hangzhou Xiongmai Technology acknowledged that its products were part of the cyberattack. The company is going to recall all products that it sold in the United States before April 2015. The company said that it is doing this out of “social responsibility”. But was quick to add that its devices to not constitute the majority of devices that the hackers used in the attack.
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