Gartner says that by the end of this year alone we’re going to have about 20 billion IoT devices online and by 2025 there will be about 75 billion
Sadly, that doesn’t seem to mean that we are more prone to build security into the devices than we were when there were only 25 online. It seems like the integrity of IoT devices is still up in the air and security isn’t always a priority, particularly for smaller companies. There are myriad examples of IoT device hacks over the course of the past four years alone and more cases are being seen every day. Devices are hacked and used as part of a botnet to allow them to change the course of computing.
According to Daniel Markuson, NordVPN’s digital privacy expert “Things that were once the plot for a science fiction movie, such as household appliances being hacked and turned against humanity, now became a reality. IoT hacking can be extremely effective, producing DDoS attacks that can cripple our infrastructure, systems, and way of life.“If you have multiple devices connected to the same network in your home or office, and a hacker gets access to one device, they could break into all of them.”
It’s pretty hard to believe that a baby monitor or a child’s toy can do that kind of hard but it’s not just computers that can be attacked. Here are a few interesting examples that have been seen in recent years that have caused real issues.
Vegas casinos are among the most secure places in the world but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be hacked. Not long ago hackers got access to a casino by using the thermometer in a fish tank/aquarium and took a database of high rollers.
Sex Toys are not immune to hacking. SEC consult announced that more than 50 K user’s sex lives were exposed by the toy known as ‘Vibratissimo Panty Buster.’ In fact, the vulnerabilities that were found in it put the safety of the owners in question too. Their data was accessible via the internet including images and favorite positions. The ‘Panty Buster’ toys could be hacked to remotely inflict sexual pleasure on victims without their consent.
2017 was a banner year for toys. Germany banned a doll known as My Friend Cayla, which was an interactive toy. Cayla, as it happened, contained a “concealed surveillance device.” According to the researchers, hackers could quite easily use an insecure Bluetooth device installed in the toy. They could listen, talk while a child plays with the doll as well as open a way to use the cameras and microphones to see and hear anything.
2016 saw a hackable thermostat be controlled to the point that it had two entire apartment buildings freezing for about a week. This was done by launching a DDoS attack on their environmental control systems. Two aspects, the central heating and hot water systems were attacked, and when the environmental systems were rebooted to allow.. or seek to allow the apartment owner to fight off the attack the result was an unending loop and no way to resolve it.
These are just a few of the devices that have been hacked. Houses, apartments, thermostats, search devices, automobiles, medical devices, and many more have been under the control of someone else in the past five years alone. How many IoT devices do you have.. and do you feel safe?