It’s an odd time for the computer networked home to be gaining steam in the US conversation. As computer security breaches take down in the most recognizable US corporate names, and hedge funds are planned based on the ability to identify corporations vulnerable to hacker attacks, the societal trend towards dependence on a networked life gains steam unabated.
Even Toilets Aren’t Safe As Hackers Target Home Devices
Providing rare introspection was a Bloomberg article this week with the headline “Even Toilets Aren’t Safe As Hackers Target Home Devices.”
The article notes that the convenience of unlocking the house remotely, turning off the TV or even a refrigerator that knows when milk is out of date is compelling, but all that convenience could also let criminals open your doors, spy on your family or drive your connected car to their lair.
It’s not just the house that can be hacked, but all the tech gadgets in a car can be hacked as well, placing the vehicle in control of hackers as the owner could go on a roller coaster of a joy ride. While Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is all abuzz regarding its driver-less car and pushes towards robot soldiers, can anyone guarantee that control of such applications can’t fall into the control of hackers?
Cyber security software firms unable to keep up with the increasing number of hackers
As computer software security firm McAfee notes there are now 200 hacker attacks per minute and many cyber security software firms have publicly acknowledged they can no longer keep up and are instead focusing their software to clean up a computer after it has been hacked.
“As these technologies become more sophisticated, it opens up a broader spectrum of threats,” Gunter Ollmann, chief technology officer of IOActive, said in the report. A world of connected computer-based devices, controlled remotely, makes it possible “for the bad guys to have permanent entry into your household.”
The problem is only anticipated to get worse. Right now there are 3 billion “connected” devices in existence. By 2020 that number is expected to rise to 26 billion devices – all with the potential to be hacked by anyone from anywhere in the world.
The article noted that Trustwave, a company that helps fight cybercrime, hijacked a Bluetooth device that took control of toilets made by Japan’s Lixil Group. This presents a new future for plumbers, who, when diagnosing a problem in the connected “Internet of things” environment may need to stop hackers as well as sewer line backups.