RoT: Ransomware of Things

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Image of lock on laptop
Stephen Cobb

One of the trends that I found most worrying in 2016 was the willingness of some humans to participate in the following three activities at scale:hold computer systems and data files hostage (ransomware); deny access to data and systems (Distributed Denial of Service or DDoS); infect some of the things that make up the Internet of Things (IoT). Sadly, I think these trends will continue in 2017 and there is potential for cross-pollination as they evolve. For example, using infected IoT devices to extort commercial websites by threatening a DDoS attack, or locking IoT devices in order to charge a ransom, something I like to call jackware.