Begging to be hacked

Begging to be hacked

I’m not saying avoid technology – I’m saying we should demand better.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a cute way of grouping all of the connected devices in our lives.

  • Cars
  • Doorbells and Locks
  • Refrigerators, Appliances and TVs
  • Lights and Thermostats
  • Toys
  • And almost anything else that uses electricity

Verifying that you closed your garage door from 100 miles away is really cool (it is!). You could’ve called your neighbor to check, but that’s so 1986!

Turning on/off the lights in your house via your smartphone is flat-out convenient!  You could’ve bought a timer for your lamp and set it to come on at dark but that’s not much fun.

So what’s the problem?!? Technology is supposed to be fun! And it is.

However, what happens when you trade safety for fun?

You get hacked.
Your identity is stolen.
A stranger watches your kid on your baby monitor.

Why is this?

We’re so hooked on obtaining and using the latest technology that we pay no attention to how it works, why it works and whether it’s safe to use. We don’t demand safety – we demand cool.

Let’s look at some recent examples:

Smart Doorbell Hack

Who can be bothered to look out the window when the doorbell rings? Smart doorbells have cameras so you can see who’s at your door on your phone. Neat! But wait . . . that smart doorbell was designed by a company that knows very little about security. But, they do know how to stuff a camera in a doorbell and connect it to your home Wi-Fi. So what happens? Someone hits a hidden button on the back of that smart doorbell enabling access to your home Wi-Fi. They can now monitor your PCs and do hundreds of other malicious “bad-guy” things. All because a company rushed their product to the market without following basic security best-practices (really, it’s basic stuff).

More Info: http://thehackernews.com/2016/01/doorbell-hacking-wifi-pasword.html

Car Hijacking

Your new car is connected to the internet, and can send you information and take commands from you from miles away. Awesome!

Awesome, until a hacker connects to your car while you’re driving your kids to soccer and takes control of it.

More Info: http://www.wired.com/2015/07/hackers-remotely-kill-jeep-highway/

 

Toys Spying on Your Kids

Smart toys are great, until you catch the someone spying on your children.

More Info: http://thehackernews.com/2015/12/spy-toy-hacking.html

 

iKettle (yes, really, a kettle)

OK – I question whether we need a smart kettle, but yes, they exist! And of course, they’ve been used to hack your Wi-Fi and give unfettered access to your devices.

More Info: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/ikettle-hack-worry-even-dont-one/

 

Your Fridge is Sending Spam (you can’t make this stuff up!)

Yes, your smart fridge may be sending spam email to aggravated email users across the globe. Read that one again. Your fridge is sending spam.

Read More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/23/refrigerator-spam-email-internet-of-things-attack_n_4654566.html

 

OK, I’ll stop now. I trust you get the point.

Technology can be fantastically cool – but at what cost?

As long as we, the consumer, value usability over security, we’ll continue to set ourselves up – no, we’ll outright beg – to be hacked, stolen from and hurt or killed by the technology we trust for no reason at all.

I’m not saying avoid technology – I’m saying we should demand better.

 

Kurt Simione

(Begging to be hacked)