We often talk about how anything that is connected to the Internet is hackable and unsafe, and to be careful about how you buy and connect devices, products, appliances, home security systems and other wireless “things.” These are called the Internet of Things, or “IoT.” Alexa is an IoT “thing.”

Cybersecurity literature constantly warns us about vulnerabilities to IoT. The newest vulnerability is called BrickerBot. BrickerBot is malware that is targeting insecure IoT devices.

Without getting too techy, basically, the BrickerBot malware forms a Permanent Denial-of-Service (PDOS) botnet. What the heck does that mean? It means that when it gets into the IoT insecure device, it is able to destroy basic device functions and corrupt its storage, disrupt internet connectivity, mess up its performance and wipe all of the files on the device. The purpose seems to be to destroy usage of the device, as opposed to gaining access to information on the device to exfiltrate it and sell it.

So the tip of the week is to continue to patch all devices, including IoT devices, secure all IoT “things” and think and think again about why you really need that IoT thing. Assess the information it is collecting, storing, transmitting and now, losing before you buy it and connect it. I wonder if Alexa can actually disconnect herself in the face of BrickerBot? More on Alexa next week…