Cisco Sponsors $300,000 Internet of Things Security Challenge - Page 2

The lack of security also is garnering greater scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The agency in September 2013 settled a case with TrendNet over software flaws in its SecurView cameras, which consumers can use to keep tabs on their homes while they are somewhere else. According to the FTC, the SecurView devices included a software flaw that enables people to take video from cameras via the Internet.

Consumers have to become more aware of the security threats to their connected devices, which can include everything from a refrigerator to a thermostat to a light bulb, according to Dick O'Brien, senior information developer at security software vendor Symantec. In a post on the company's blog, O'Brien outlined some of the growing threats, such as the Linux.Darlloz and Linux.Aidra worms, noting that the promise of the Internet of things also means security threats.

"Exciting new developments are in the offing," he wrote. "A connected home could allow you to log on to your home network before you leave work in the evening to turn on your central heating and your oven. … Unfortunately, every new technological development usually comes with a new set of security threats. Most consumers are now very aware that their computer could be targeted with malware. There is also growing awareness that the new generation of smartphones are also vulnerable to attack. However, few people are aware of the threat to other devices."