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Smart Device Hacks Up Since the Pandemic Started

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Mapping network contacts.

Researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio say their research indicates the frequency of hacks on smart devices has climbed since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

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Cybersecurity researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) found that hacks on smart devices have climbed since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

UTSA's Elias Bou-Harb said growing numbers of people working from home is a perfect medium for hackers, who can leap from connections to smart devices to computers that log into organizations' networks.

UTSA's Cyber Center for Security and Analytics is working to improve its database to detect smart-device hacks in real time, and to alert organizations or Internet service providers of flaws.

The Center utilizes data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the University of California San Diego, which jointly built a "network telescope" of sensors to record as much as 100 gigabytes of malicious traffic per hour.

Researchers are converting this information into a map of hacks, in the hope of helping average people to view and understand the data and, as Bou-Harb said, "not to adopt these technical devices blindly."

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