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Physical / MAC / Network Attacks on the Internet of Things

As technology develops, new challenges also arise, including cyber attacks. Web hacks or the spread of viruses must have been heard by everyone, but have you ever faced attacks on the Internet of Things (IoT) system? IoT systems are increasingly used in industry and households. With the amount of data in every device and the ability to control the entire industry production system, IoT is ideal for hackers and those with bad intentions. Today, let’s learn with Speranza and possible attack techniques in IoT so that they can be avoided.

1. What are IoT attacks?

The total number of IoT devices today is in the billions and stores huge data warehouses. Most of this data is closely related to people such as contact information, environmental and health measures, including sensitive personal data. When criminals try to break into any device or data stream, an attack has occurred. The scenarios could be the theft or modification of data, the hacking of devices or entire systems, or possibly the connection of devices to other virtual networks.

The risk of attack when the IoT system is increasingly developed


It would be a shame if an IoT system were hacked. The data in the system is mostly real time and has a great impact on its owners. Imagine that you are in your smart home but someone else can spy on you. Worse yet, you can imagine an automobile production line that just needs to get the number of one part wrong, which can cause the whole car to fail, or worse, cause an error that prevents the whole line from working. . Or some criminal organization hacks into the security camera system and deletes all footage from them. All of the above prompts us to pay more attention to security issues, especially for each device. Below are the commonly used attack techniques, including physical, MAC, and network attacks.

2. Physical attack

The physical attack is to interfere with the physical components of the system, here are the devices. The Internet of Things is a large, distributed collection of devices. The devices are primarily intended for mechanical purposes and home electronics so that anyone can access them. Their mechanism also focuses only on connectivity issues but has not invested in security. Hence, there is a potential risk of infiltrating any point of the system and opening a severe vulnerability for hackers to take action.

Physical attacks require the attacker to be in close proximity to the system. For example, sensors use AES encryption to transmit data. Hackers manually gain access to the device and obtain the AES secret key, thus hijacking the network and login credentials. Bad guys can also approach the device and interfere with the chip’s electrical pulse system. Using specialized devices, chips can be modified to behave and function as they please. Hackers can even take machines apart and embed malware on the surface of the chip. The physical attack is said to be unlikely, but once it does, the consequences are unpredictable. Investing in human resources and strengthening hardware protection is something everyone should be doing, especially companies that use IoT in industry.

The potential risk of physical attack on devices


3. MAC attack.

I: What is MAC

MAC stands for Media Access Control, which is a link layer in the network model. MAC’s function is to create the mechanism for addressing and controlling access to the device. MAC acts as an interface that facilitates the transfer of data in an IoT device. In addition, it also allows multiple nodes to connect to the same physical environment and share that environment. The MAC address, also known as a physical address, is the default interface for a device. Each device connected to the network has only one MAC address to identify in the system. This address is attached to the network card and specified by the manufacturer.

Mac address.


II: The MAC attack and the danger

There are many types of MAC attacks. The first is MAC spoofing which is a type of attack that enters the system by impersonating. IoT systems are very vulnerable to this. Most devices are from different manufacturers and there is no common security standard, so counterfeit devices are difficult to spot.

The second type of MAC attack is a jamming attack. With its vast scale and data transmission over wireless networks, IoT systems are fertile ground for this type of attack. The hacker will create a base station and send a series of signals to devices in the system. The sudden increase in traffic destroys the transmission line, causing disruption to the system. In more detail, this base station is seen as a node running MAC protocols and routing as a device in the system. The more stations that cause interference, the greater the impact on the network, from the loss of the ability to communicate between two devices to the blocking of the entire system.

When life depends on IoT, MAC attacks have a big impact.


III: Network attack

Everything in the IoT has an internet connection, of course hacking through the network is the hacker’s preferred way. Common types of cyberattacks with IoT are botnets, intermediaries, or the installation of malware on devices.

The first is ransomware. The bad guys try to send malware hidden in the information to the device through the network, if the user accidentally downloads it, it will activate this software. Ransomware often locks the device to demand a ransom from the user.

Another attack is a botnet, which is a form of using hacked IoT devices to continue attacking other systems. With the malicious code installed on the device, they will create a virtual network and then perform DDoS, collect data and spy on other systems, send spam, etc.


Hopefully, through this article, you will have a better understanding of attacks against the Internet of Things system. This is something that no one wants, but it has happened, so we should always be as vigilant as possible. The IoT will develop further and security is a priority for the survival of this technology.

Reference source

The publication Physical / MAC / Network Attacks on the Internet of Things first appeared on Speranza.

*** This is a syndicated Security Bloggers Network blog from IoT Blog – Speranza written by Allen. Read the original post at: