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Internet Of Things Devices Are Doomed
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Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Ninja
9/15/2014 | 4:13:37 PM
...the Internet of Things is not going to be anywhere near as big as the tech industry hopes. So air conditioning hacks should be few and far between, even if the vulnerabilities turn out to be abundant.
Andrew Binstock
Andrew Binstock,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/15/2014 | 7:00:56 PM
How important?
The researchers are simply doing what crackers do: poring over software trying to find a small toehold by which they can insert the tip of a crowbar and pry open a weakness.

Unless companies spend millions hiring developers to do just this kind of penetration testing, all software-bearing devices are and will remain vulnerable. And even with extensive pen testing, every software rev presents a new set of opportunities.

We're going to have to accept this is part of the risk of IoT. Actually, it'll probably be the biggest obstacle to widespread IoT adoption. That is, after lack of IPv6 adoption, lack of standards, lack of an important problem to solve. :-)
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
9/16/2014 | 2:42:19 AM
Old hack, new hack
These sort of printer hacks have been around for quite some time.  Networked printers are notoriously hackable because printer manufacturers don't think of their devices as hackable.

Ditto for IoT, unfortunately.  Who would hack a toaster?  Well, hackers, of course!
Marilyn Cohodas
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
9/16/2014 | 8:12:11 AM
Re: Old hack, new hack
The reason to call attention to these potential vulnerabilities now is to raise awareness among consumers -- and more importantly -- manufacturers. As IoT becomes more ubiquitous in our lives and new products come to market, so do added security risks and the opportunities for hackers to cause mischief -- and much much more serious harm. 
User Rank: Apprentice
9/16/2014 | 9:43:33 AM
On the other hand...
On some printers, running Doom would be a big improvement.
User Rank: Strategist
9/16/2014 | 12:47:51 PM
Re: Fortunately...
And nobody will ever want a TV in every room of their house either.  Technology has a lovely way of proving pundits on both sides very wrong.  It may not be the IoT that the tech companies are talking about, but more and more things are connecting to the Internet every day.  From thermostats (why would someone want to do that, you say?) to fridges to TVs, media players, and even the electric grid.  If it's on the network, it's open for attack.  And until manufacturers start paying attention to security in the design of their products, it will only continue to get worse not better.  Ask yourself, when was the last time you updated the firward on your printer, router, etc.?  Was it when you got it and first plugged it in?  And are you technology literate, where most users don't even think about the need to update all those devices.
Marilyn Cohodas
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
9/16/2014 | 4:11:51 PM
Re: Fortunately...
You nailed it hhendrickson274: "Technology has a lovely way of proving pundits on both sides very wrong." Even the security researchers presenting findings at Black Hat about hacking"things" like cars and Nest thermostats aren't advocating that people give them up. Will the IoT cause security problems? Yes. Will we fix some of those vulnerabilities? Probably. Will "things" ever be totally secure? Unlikely. What else is new? 
Robert McDougal
Robert McDougal,
User Rank: Ninja
9/17/2014 | 9:31:29 AM
Re: Old hack, new hack
Agreed, for years manufacturers have allowed little flaws to fly by because they had a firewall to protect them.  However, in the IoT a firewall won't necessarily be between the device and the rest of the world.
Marilyn Cohodas
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
9/17/2014 | 9:39:26 AM
Re: Old hack, new hack
Yep. there's lot of work to be done securing the IoT. But there are a lot of smart people who are trying to figure it out. We can only hope the manufacturers will pay attention to them.
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
12/6/2014 | 6:16:55 AM
Re: Old hack, new hack
Re: As IoT becomes more ubiquitous in our lives and new products come to market, so do added security risks and the opportunities for hackers to cause mischief -- and much much more serious harm. 


Indeed, Marilyn!  Murder, for instance...

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