Physical / MAC / network attacks on the Internet of Things


As technology develops, new problems arise, including cyber attacks. The web hacks or virus spreading must have heard from everyone, but have you ever been attacked on the Internet of Things (IoT) system? IoT systems are used more and more frequently in industry and households. With the amount of data in each device and the ability to control the industry’s entire production system, the IoT is a good partner for hackers and those with bad intentions. Today let’s learn with Speranza and possible attack techniques in the IoT so that they can be prevented.

1. What are IoT attacks?

The total number of IoT devices now runs into the billions and stores huge data warehouses. Most of this data is closely related to people, such as contact information, environmental and health measurements, including sensitive personal data. When bad guys try to break into a device or data stream, an attack has occurred. Scenarios could include stealing or modifying data, hijacking devices or entire systems, or possibly connecting devices to other virtual networks.

Risk of attack as the IoT system continues to develop


It would be bad if an IoT system were hacked. The data in the system are mostly in real time and have a great impact on their owners. Imagine you are in your smart home but someone else can spy on you. Worse, you can think of a car production line where only one part’s number needs to be wrong, which can lead to the failure of the entire car or, worse, a bug that causes the entire line to stop working. Or a criminal organization hacked into the surveillance camera system and deleted all recordings from it. All of this leads us to pay more attention to security issues, especially for each device. The following are the most common attack techniques, including physical, MAC, and network attacks.

2. Physical attack

Physical attack is meant to disrupt the physical components of the system, here are the devices. The Internet of Things is a huge and distributed collection of devices. The devices are mainly used for mechanical purposes and home electronics, so that everyone can access them. Their mechanism also only focuses on connectivity issues but has not invested in security. Hence, there is a potential risk of infiltrating every point in the system and opening a serious security hole for hackers to take action.

Physical attacks require that the attacker be close to the system. For example, sensors use AES encryption to transmit data. Hackers manually access the device and obtain the AES secret key, thereby hijacking the network and credentials. Bad guys can also get near the device and disrupt the chip’s electrical impulse system. Thanks to special devices, the chips can be modified so that they behave and work as desired. Hackers can even dismantle machines and embed malware on the chip surface. Physical attacks are considered unlikely, but if they do, the consequences are unpredictable. Investing in people and strengthening hardware protection should be done by everyone, especially companies deploying IoT in the industry.

The potential risk of a physical attack on devices


3. MAC attack.

I: What is MAC?

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

MAC address.


II: MAC attack and the danger

There are many types of MAC attacks. The first is MAC spoofing, a type of attack that infiltrates the system by spoofing the identity. IoT systems are very susceptible to this. Most devices come from different manufacturers and there is no common security standard, so it is difficult to detect counterfeit devices.

The second type of MAC attack is a jamming attack. With their enormous size and data transmission over wireless networks, IoT systems are fertile ground for this type of attack. The hacker creates a base station and sends a series of signals to the devices in the system. The sudden increase in traffic destroys the transmission line and causes system malfunctions. More specifically, this base station is considered to be a node that performs MAC protocols and routing like a device in the system. The more stations that cause interference, the greater the impact on the network, from losing the ability to communicate between two devices to blocking the entire system.

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


III: network attack

Everything in the IoT has an internet connection, of course hacking over the network is the hackers’ favorite method. Common types of cyberattacks in the IoT are botnets, man-in-middles 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 over the network. If the user accidentally downloads it, this software will be activated. Ransomware often locks the device to demand ransom from the user.

Another attack is a botnet, which is a form of using hijacked IoT devices to carry out further attacks on other systems. Thanks to the malicious code installed on the device, they create a virtual network and then perform DDoS, collect data and spy on other systems, send spam and more.


Hopefully through this article you will have a better understanding of attacks on the Internet of Things system. Nobody wants this, but it happened, so we always need to be as vigilant as possible. The IoT will continue to grow and security is a priority for the technology to survive.

Reference source

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

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


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