Panasonic Uses Internet Honeypots to Bolster IoT Device Security
Mon, April 19, 2021

Panasonic Uses Internet Honeypots to Bolster IoT Device Security

Panasonic deploys real appliances and products in developments as honeypots / Photo Credit: Cineberg (via Shutterstock)


Panasonic outlined how it has bolstered the security of its IoT devices by connecting them to internet honeypots, baiting hackers to try and compromise them, wrote Danny Palmer of ZDNet, a business technology news website. Panasonic uses two specially built honeypot sites that are capable of exposing devices to the internet, luring hackers into attacking them. The devices used for testing range from IP cameras to fridges and other kitchen products. This is all part of the company’s efforts in understanding the IoT threat landscape. 

Panasonic also wants to find out how to counter security threats that target the products they develop and how to safeguard consumers and businesses from IoT-based cyberattacks. At a Black Hat session in Europe, the process was detailed by general manager and head of the product security incident response team Hikohiro Y Lin and Yuki Osawa, senior engineer at Panasonic Corporation. Lin explained, “Our company has white-hat hackers hacking our own devices every day. We've tested more than a thousand devices and we've found more than 10,000 vulnerabilities before shipping, so they're fixed.” 

Osawa said that Panasonic deploys real appliances as a honeypot, collecting attacks and malware targeting the devices. They also deployed products under development during the testing. All of the attacks are monitored, enabling Panasonic researchers to study the ways hackers try to exploit the device if they found them “without security in the wild.” 

All information is relayed to developers of upcoming products to ensure that IoT-connected devices are not vulnerable to cyberattacks as much as possible. The idea behind the honeypots is to allow executives, developers, and other professionals outside the security team to see what’s going and emphasize the importance of security. 

Lin stated, “We're trying hard to minimize risk, but it can't be 100% secure, but we try. After that, if something happens, we deal with it as soon as possible with firmware updates.” Users have to take responsibility for managing their devices once they are in their homes and businesses. Hence, Lin recommended that users regularly patch their devices to protect themselves from cyberattacks.