The UK government checks all devices connected to the Internet in the UK to assess the security of the country

The UK government checks all devices connected to the Internet in the UK to assess the security of the country

The UK government recently announced that the National Cyber ​​Security Center will launch a massive program to identify all devices connected to the Internet in the UK to identify the threat risks from cyber warfare. What challenges does the overall integration of internet-connected devices present, what will the NCSC do, and how will the results be interpreted?

What challenges do internet-connected devices present?

When the Internet first appeared, very few devices were connected due to the relative complexity of Internet protocols. Furthermore, most consumer electronics during the early days of the Internet often lacked any type of processor and were limited to basic analog and digital switching circuits. Despite the fact that few devices were connected to the InternetCyber ​​threats are quickly becoming a problem, many websites have been infected with malware, lack of security that allows hackers to steal information and poorly designed operating systems that provide hackers with many exploits. The rapid expansion of malware has created a very lucrative industry of antivirus software, and many hackers often turn to the cybersecurity field due to the high salaries.

But as electronics continued to shrink in size and cost, microcontrollers quickly took over the consumer electronics industry. From boilers to washing machines, nearly every electronic device has some type of microcontroller, whether it’s to check sensor readings, power user interfaces, or play tunes after a procedure is complete. Ultimately, chip manufacturers combined microcontrollers with Wi-Fi packages that provided engineers with single-chip Wi-Fi solutions, and this allowed devices to connect to the Internet. This was when IoT devices started becoming feasible, and it didn’t take long for them to spread throughout consumer markets.

However, microcontrollers with The capabilities of the Internet present many security challenges for several reasons. One of these reasons is that engineers often overlook the importance of security and simply fail to introduce strong security practices such as random passwords, unique keys, and encrypted messages. Another reason IoT devices introduce security risks is that physical devices that implement TCP packets and other Internet protocols often lack strong security hardware, and this may require engineers to implement features such as encryption and random number generation in software. The risks of software solutions being exposed are not limited to hackersbut many microcontrollers simply lack the performance capabilities to implement strong security algorithms (such as TLS), which will make the underlying IoT devices very vulnerable.

The end result of the overall integration of the Internet connection in consumer electronics is a nationwide network vulnerable to attack.

NCSC to launch major UK vulnerabilities identification program

Recognizing the challenges faced by internet-connected devices, The UK government recently announced a new program that will determine how vulnerable the UK is It is widespread cyber attacks. The programme, which is implemented and launched by the National Center for Cyber ​​Security, will be tasked with scanning every device connected to the Internet in the UK to determine if each IP address (and associated metadata) is vulnerable to attack. The scan will target not only IoT devices, but everything and anything connected to the Internet, including data centers, servers, computers, mobile phones, and vehicles.

When NCSC makes a connection request to a target device, an HTTPS request will be sent, and responses to this message will be logged and stored. From there, NCSC will compare the response and software version against a database of known vulnerabilities, which will then be used to determine if the target IP is vulnerable to attack. To prevent concerns from those with devices connected to the Internet, the NCSC has stated that their scan will specifically come from one of two IP addresses, and, and the tag will be scanner.scanning.service.ncsc.gov. United kingdom. Furthermore, those who want to be excluded from the test can send an email to scanning@ncsc.gov.uk It states that the IP address is not being scanned.

How can the findings help the UK government?

While the inner workings of the NCSC are not entirely public, there is a potential defense mechanism that can be formulated from this examination. If an entire database of vulnerable IP addresses can be identified, it is possible that the ISP disables them via a kill switch controlled by the NCSC in A mass cyberattack occurred against the United Kingdom. This will prevent attackers from attacking vulnerable targets that can provide platforms to carry out DDoS attacks, ransomware and data theft.

Of course, many consumer devices have dynamic IP addresses, but ISPs not only keep logs of all IP addresses, but also have statically assigned IP addresses allowing NCSC to monitor unsecured devices. In addition, details such as the MAC address are often stored, and these details do not change, which enables ISPs to monitor unsecured devices.

That might sound alarming The government will check all devices connected to the internetbut from a privacy perspective, if you’re concerned about the government logging your IP address, you should be more concerned about unsecured devices in your network.

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