With Internet of Things (IoT), we are trying to connect all things around us to internet to make it smarter. Most of these things are designed to work in one particular environment, and if these are connected to more hostile environment (read internet), it makes them highly vulnerable to be hacked. We all know how safe internet is? We all have seen hacking of a personal phone to big corporate networks and everything in between. Now we are opening a whole new avenue for hackers. Every day, lot of smart devices are getting launched, from health tracker to smart cars and these are low hanging fruits in world of hacking.
Here are few examples of smart devices getting hacked.
Every automobile manufacturer is introducing a connected entertainment system. Even Apple and Google have showcased their devices that can be integrated to car’s dashboard. We want our cars to be connected to internet so we can be connected to world even while driving and we want our music collection to be in sync with all the devices we have around us. These connected devices are just not limited to entertainment system of the car but it is also connected to other electrical system of car. And that makes it dangerous and vulnerable to attack.
Just imagine you are cruising on a highway and your car starts accelerating automatically and your breaks stops to respond, and the car turns itself to opposite lane. Hackers already have shown connected cars are relatively easy to hack as they don’t have any defense mechanism in place. They can control almost everything in your car sitting miles away from it.
Smart Sniper Rifle
Aim it, shoot it and forget it. Everyone have dreamed of it even if they have used a toy gun or toy bow and arrow. Smart Sniper rifle is dream come true for every marksmen. Smart rifle eliminates the chances of going off target because of recoil when fired. It locks the target and when the trigger is pressed it always hits the bull’s eye, only if the target is not changed/moved in between. Hackers demonstrated how dangerous it will be if smart rifle got hacked and the person who is going to press the trigger, doesn’t know about it.
When everything is getting smarter why not safe. Just imagine how convenient it would be for store owners to put cash in it without the need to count. Take out the smartphone, login to the application and see the total money deposited in whole day. Hackers demonstrated these smart safe can be opened very easily by just touching them, it doesn’t even need to be broke open.
The Internet of Things is also a privacy nightmare. Connecting everyday devices we use is generating data with details to the level of where we are driving, what things we have purchased and more. Def Con organizes an annual information security conference, where researchers set up an Internet of Things Village to show how they could hack everyday objects like thermostats, fitness trackers and security cameras.
Every IoT device manufacturer has their own proprietary software system. We need security standards similar to internet created for IoT devices or modify them to include these devices. Without such standards, it is difficult to ensure security of IoT devices which are now connected to each other.