GeoEdge Detects Malicious Attacks on Smart Home IoT Devices, Says Antivirus Apps and Firewall Are Not Enough

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A global malvertising attack, the first ad-based cybercrime that targets home network-based IoT devices, has been discovered by global cybersecurity company GeoEdge.

GeoEdge security researchers have identified both the attack vector as well as its origins in Slovenia and Ukraine in cooperation with the company’s AdTech partners, InMobi and Verve Group.

GeoEdge said its security research team has been investigating the malicious attack on smart home IoT devices since mid-June 2021.

The widely distributed attack vector is the first to use online advertising to silently install itself on apps on IoT devices connected to home Wi-Fi, and only requires hackers to have a basic understanding of the documentation for device API, JavaScript knowledge, and online advertising skills.




Market research firm IoT Analytics predicts more than 30 billion IoT device connections globally by 2025. The sheer number of devices makes them attractive to malverters, and hackers can exploit them.

“GeoEdge’s patented behavioral code analysis technology and advanced malware detection capabilities detected these online advertisements by secretly injecting malware into smart home IoT devices,” said Amnon Siev, CEO of GeoEdge . “We were able to expose the origin, infrastructure and global scale of these attacks. This shared mission is built on trust and a deep understanding of the threat landscape, which has enabled us to create a new standard for user protection.

Malvertising, or malicious advertising, spreads malware by injecting malicious code into online advertisements through online advertising networks, which can potentially pose a risk of infection.

Ad networks are generally unaware that they are delivering malicious content.

According to GeoEdge, users targeted by the attack are not even required to click on the infected ad or navigate to a malicious page to initiate the attack on devices on the home network.

“It’s critical that we have the checks and balances to identify and contain potential malicious threats before they can infect users’ devices,” says the senior vice president and general manager of InMobi, platform of editor and exchange Kunal Nagpal.

Nagpal says InMobi’s collaboration with GeoEdge improves user protection on ad networks with real-time protection and ensures secure ad serving to partners.

According to GeoEdge research, the IoT attack has the ability to manipulate IoT devices, download applications without user content and risk the theft of personal information and monetary instruments, as well as tampering with home systems. such as smart locks and surveillance cameras.

GeoEdge notes that antivirus apps and even firewalls are not enough, forcing infected ads to be permanently blocked in real time to prevent them from being rendered and presented to users.

Pieter de Zwart, vice president of engineering at Verve Group, says that as the ad security landscape evolves, new cybersecurity risks require solutions.

He concludes that GeoEdge is committed to ensuring a safe advertising experience. “The partnership with key industry players allows us to fulfill this mission. “

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