Millions of unsecured IoT devices were discovered vulnerable to cyber attacks in European cities, according to a report published by computer security firm Trend Micro.
Among them all, Berlin and London have the most vulnerable gadgets – the German city has more than 2.8 million units while the British city has about 2.5 million.
These devices include webcams, routers, printers and NAS devices. And webcam was named as the most commonly exposed type of devices. Up to 3,050 camera units were found to be vulnerable in London alone.
Researchers in Trend Micro obtained the number of vulnerable devices in each city by using Shodan, a search engine that can find internet-connected devices. Scanned cities in Europe include Amsterdam, Berlin, Lisbon, Paris, Athens and Rome.
Devices that are searchable by the public aren’t necessarily vulnerable to cyber attacks. “However, since an exposed device is searchable and visible to the public, attackers can take advantage of the available information on Shodan in order to mount an attack,” Trend Micro says in the report.
Attackers may check if the admin console’s password is easy to break, or whether the software that the device use is weak against attacks or not.
The rising trend of IoT has pushed manufacturers to design gadgets with the intention only to enter the market as fast as possible while paying relatively little attention on maintaining security in the IoT field.
“Now is the time to push for stronger regulation on security to have devices secured by design rather than rely on the user to make configuration changes. Otherwise we risk ending up with a toxic legacy of connected devices that will never see a security update,” said Rik Ferguson, vice president of security research at Trend Micro.
Security researches on IoT devices were recently conducted after a wave of attacks using botnets of infected connected devices, causing outages on popular websites and cutting down Internet usage for 900,000 Deutsche Telekom users last year.
According to research company Gartner, the number of IoT devices is expected to reach 8.4 billion in 2017 and that amount will triple by 2020.