IoT: Internet of Threats?

Dateline: June 2, 2017

Welcome to our Friday WRAP – one thought-provoking idea to think about over the weekend.

For several years now, as the Internet of Things (IoT) connects many of our seemingly harmless devices to the web in order to add features and functionality, cybersecurity professionals have  pointed out how much more vulnerable to attacks we have become.  No one makes this point more clear than an 11-year old who recently addressed a cybersecurity conference at the World Forum in The Hague earlier this month.  According to an article published at Security Week, a 6th grader brought his Bluetooth-equipped teddy bear and his hacking skills to show executives just how vulnerable they were.  The article, Cyber Kid Stuns Experts Showing Toys Can be ‘Weapons’ described the session,

To demonstrate, he deployed his cuddly bear, which connects to the icloud via wifi and bluetooth smart technology to receive and transmit messages.

Plugging into his laptop a rogue device known as a “raspberry pi” — a small credit card size computer  — Reuben scanned the hall for available bluetooth devices, and to everyone’s amazement including his own suddenly downloaded dozens of numbers including some of top officials.

Then using a computer language programme, called Python, he hacked into his bear via one of the numbers to turn on one of its lights and record a message from the audience.

His message:

“From terminators to teddy bears, anything or any toy can be weaponised.”

It’s important to make cybersecurity a top priority in the design of devices and products.  How can you protect your IoT devices from becoming weaponized?

That’s a WRAP!  Have a great weekend!

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