We have reported several times about the dangers caused by third-party attacks against individual websites and entire data centers. Many of the recent attacks are being done by criminals utilizing IoT (internet of things) devices to amass a huge volume of addressable connections without much human interaction. However, that may all be about to change.
There are many digital security experts working to secure devices like home thermostats, and connected appliances to overcome IoT attacks in the future, but new initiatives that seem to be aimed at making use of idle computing power are about to open up an entirely new ecosystem for coordinated attacks by unwitting human participants.
A recent article on OZY.com detailed one initiative that is presenting itself as the Airbnb of Computing and lauding the enterprise as a way for people to earn small residual income by essentially renting out CPU time and storage space on a home computer while they are away from their keyboards.
The basic problem with the premise is that an Airbnb guestroom doesn’t attack someone when you rent it out to a guest, but your internet connected computer can easily be added to a botnet by a nefarious customer and become a serious security concern for you, and everyone else once you give a clandestine third-party access to its connection protocols.
Legislative ways to prevent a garage door opener from shutting down websites are already being drafted, but perhaps we should all back up a bit further and start helping our neighbors understand that their computer isn’t something they should be renting out to anyone for pennies per hour in this day and age.