Lock-out: The Austrian hotel which has been hacked four times

Seehotel Jagerwirt

The internet of things (IoT) promises many benefits – intelligent cities with integrated transport systems, for example – but it comes with a significantly increased risk for cybersecurity. Then, how should we tackle this new threat?

Christoph Brandstatter is the general manager of the four-star Seehotel, Jagerwirt, in Austria, in the region of the Alps.

His hotel electronic locks and other systems have been pirated for ransom on four occasions, between December 2016 and 2017.

“We had a ransomware mail that was hidden in a bill of Telekom Austria,” said Mr. Brandstatter.

His hotel door key became unusable after he clicked on a link to his bill. So was his hard drive.

“In fact, as a small business, you don’t really think that someone is interested in you for hacking, so we had no idea what to do,” he remembers.

He paid a ransom of two bitcoins, saying: “at the time, he was on the €1,600 (£1,406: $1,882)”.

It has installed a firewall and a new antivirus software, and has trained its staff to recognize phishing emails that may appear to be authentic, but actually contain malware.

And it has moved the traditional metal keys.

Seehotel Jagerwirt

“We’ve had good comments about the old key,” he says. “It gives you a comfortable feeling.”

The December 5, 2017, Mr. Brandstatter received an email from the Austrian police, telling him his password had been found on a computer in the south of England.

This is the new threat presented by the internet of things – the increasing number of devices connected to the internet, from a magnetic card locking systems to coffee makers, security cameras wi-fi routers.

Around $ 21 billion of these so-called “smart appliances” will be in circulation by 2020, up from $ 6.4 billion in 2016, the research firm Gartner estimates.Retailers warned more connected toys

These days, you can even get hacked through your fish tank.

US casino smart fish tank that could regulate its own salinity, temperature and feeding schedules, was hacked earlier this year, and used to gain access to the firm’s wider network.

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Hackers have managed to steal 10 gigabytes of data from the casino’s computers and storing it on a device in Finland.

“It was a different type of attack, much more targeted and much more insidious, managing to break in an organization, and then to move laterally,” says Mike Lloyd, chief technology officer of the Silicon Valley cybersecurity firm RedSeal.

Following the Mirai hack attack in 2016, we know how easy it is for hackers to take control of computer networks through insecure devices, and then use these “botnets” to launch attacks.

Cybergangs can rent these networks to send spam or perform massive DDoS [distributed denial of service] attacks hitting the servers offline.

During this time, “we are starting to see attacks concentrating on compromising the integrity of the data,” said Jason Hart, director of technology for the Dutch digital security firm Gemalto.

The pirates leave the data in place, but subtly change it, to seduce a company into making a bad decision that the benefits of a competitor, or because of its share price to fall. How many false data, which could lead to poor harvests and other misfortunes

So, what does it do?

Classics of the cyber-security software, spots of approximately 80% of the attacks by learning, and then recognizing the unique signatures of every piece of malware that comes on the market.

But with millions being created each week, keeping abreast of them is almost impossible – many slip through the net.

Therefore, the cyber security companies have been developing a different approach, which monitors the behavior of the computer network and attempts to identify suspicious behaviour.

For example, Eli David, co-founder of the Tel Aviv-based cyber security company Deep Instinct, says his company has the spot of 99% of Your attacks.

Mr. David, is a former university professor and an expert on deep learning, a branch of artificial intelligence.

Deep Instinct

In short, machine learning algorithms the supervision of a “normal” network of the learning activity to the usual patterns of behavior of all devices connected to the network. Once it has built itself an image of that which is usual, it can then spot the unusual much more easily.

“Learning in depth, just looks at the raw binary [patterns of zeros and ones],” he says, “therefore, we do not care whether a file is from Windows, PowerPoint, or Android.”

Real-time behavioral tracking requires fast calculation, if Deep Instinct uses powerful graphics processors made by Nvidia.

“The only thing that comes out of the lab is a small pre-formed brain, which is an in-depth learning the model from approximately 10 to 20 megabytes,” he says, “and it is the only thing that we put on the devices.”More Technology of Business

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But there are disadvantages, RedSeal, Mike Lloyd admits.

With deep learning algorithms, it is often impossible to understand on what basis they made a decision to mark a strange behavior on the network. Sometimes perfectly innocent behavior is identified as impaired.

And if the network behavior changes legitimately, it may take some time for the algorithm to adapt to the “new normal,” he says.

Companies such as Darktrace, Aruba Networks, Vectra Networks and the Foreign Arch to adopt this type of automated monitoring of the approach.

Another challenge is simply to find all the devices that are connected to your network.How “the invisible network” poses a major threat to the security

BeyondTrust makes the detectors of scanning wireless frequencies, while the specialist search engines such as Shodan.io can find it via the internet. And there are a lot of cyber-security companies, such as SolarWinds, offering detection device software.

The problem with Your devices, is that we often have to rely on the manufacturers to provide security updates. And often, they can’t be bothered.

Thus, organizations, like the European Commission, are exploring the introduction of a minimum smart device security standards.

“We need a regulatory Kitemark – we have one for the cars and the batteries,” says Rik Ferguson, vice-president of cyber security firm Trend Micro.

“The European Commission is looking at very carefully,” said Raphael Crouan, secretary of the Alliance for the Internet of things Innovation.

“It is always a question for the regulators, not wanting to limit innovation,” he says.

Regulation and legislation always seem to catch up with the technology.

Dave Palmer, director of the technology in the UK threat intelligence firm Darktrace, said: “I think in five years we will suddenly security products because people will throw their first smart tvs and a video conferencing system – it is a natural cycle.”

Until then, the pirates could have a field day.Follow the Company’s Technology editor Matthew Wall on Twitter and Facebook
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