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Title: Internet of Malicious Things: Correlating Active and Passive Measurements for Inferring and Characterizing Internet-Scale Unsolicited IoT Devices
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Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
IEEE Communications Magazine
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
170 to 177
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. The number of Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices actively communicating across the Internet is continually increasing, as these devices are deployed across a variety of sectors, constantly transferring private data across the Internet. Due to the extensive deployment of such devices, the continuous discovery and persistence of IoT-centric vulnerabilities in protocols, applications, hardware, and the improper management of such IoT devices has resulted in the rampant, uncontrolled spread of malware threatening consumer IoT devices. To this end, this work adopts a novel, macroscopic methodology for fingerprinting Internet-scale compromised IoT devices, revealing crucial cyber threat intelligence on the insecurity of consumer IoT devices. By developing data-driven techniques rooted in machine learning methods and analyzing 3.6 TB of network traffic data, we discover 855,916 compromised IP addresses, with 310,164 fingerprinted as IoT. Further analysis reveals China and Brazil to be hosting the most significant population of compromised IoT devices (100,000 and 55,000, respectively). Additionally, we provide a longitudinal analysis on data from one year ago against this work, revealing the evolving trends of IoT exploitation, such as the increased number of vendors targeted by malware, rising from 50 to 131. Moreover, countries such as China (420% increased infected IoT count) and Indonesia (177% increasedmore »infected IoT count) have seen notably high increases in infection rates. Last, we compare our geographic results against Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI) ratings, verifying that countries with high GCI ratings, such as the Netherlands and Germany, had relatively low infection rates. However, upon further inspection, we find that the GCI rate does not accurately represent the consumer IoT market, with countries such as China and Russia being rated with “high” CGI scores, yet hosting a large population of infected consumer IoT devices.« less