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Thousands of IOT devices can be hacked to my cryptocurrency: Avast

A theoretical attack on the real world would begin with hackers taking over a network of devices. They would use the combined computing power of those devices and then extract a bit of monero.

While the $ 1,000 might not seem like a big profit, the potential is huge because in 2020 there will be over 20 billion devices connected to the Internet, according to a forecast by the research firm Gartner, which means that the number of devices that could be attacked would be much higher The estimated value was 8.4 billion of these devices in 2017.

"This ubiquity of devices coupled with the fact that they are so easy to attack makes them an attractive target," Ondrej Vlcek, Avast's chief technology officer, told CNBC on Wednesday.

Both the encryption and the hacking of the so-called Internet of Things devices are two emerging trends. In 2016, an attack on a connected device was behind a hack that swept large swathes of Internet access for many Americans. And hackers supported by the North Korean government have launched campaigns to hack devices to extract monero.

Monero has become a cryptocurrency preferred by bad actors as it claims to be one of the most anonymous digital coins available.

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