Connecting your security system to the internet has some obvious benefits. You can get alerts as soon as they happen on your phone from anywhere, connect devices from different companies thanks to services like IFTTT and even get AI smarts into your system.
But the internet brings with it some major risks. When the internet goes down, you’re left in the dark or hackers can exploit secret weaknesses in systems. But a new bot is spreading that bricks cameras that don’t have enough security in a bid to reduce further hacking.
BrickerBot looks for unsecured Internet of Things devices, especially Wi-Fi cameras, and infects them with malware that renders them worthless. But the bar for insecurity is low — in one instance, the bot just tries a set of default passwords that ship on many devices like “admin.”
While it may seem malicious to completely ruin these devices, BrickerBot is attempting to halt more widespread attacks, like the Mirai botnet that enslaved IoT devices to bring down large swaths of the internet last year.
However, protecting against BrickerBot is fairly simple. If you already have a connected camera, ensure that its password is secure and its firmware is up to date. This will fend off most of BrickerBot’s attacks.
If you’re looking for a camera, ensure that you’re buying from a company that updates its firmware in response to security flaws. Many DIY systems make this a manual process, but more popular cameras like the Nest Cam or Logi Circle work in the background. Also, always update your passwords on your IoT devices as soon as you set them up. Ideally, you want a secure, unique password for each device you own.
Learn more by reading our review of the best home security cameras.