Last week, the FBI was inspired to issue a public service announcement warning that the Internet of Things poses opportunities for cybercrime. The PSA included practical advice about passwords, and querulous philosophical challenges like "Consider whether IoT devices are ideal for their intended purpose."
Who can blame the Feds for being nervous? There are already 3.9 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices in the world today, and Gartner estimates that by 2020 there will be 25 billion of them -- inside our public infrastructure, our homes, our cars, even our bodies… and all full of vulnerabilities.
Today, the IoT Village, which debuted last month at DEF CON, announced that through its hacking contest and workshops, 60 zero-day vulnerabilities have already been discovered in a variety of IoT devices. The list includes bugs in satellite receivers, motion sensors, and baby monitors, a remote code execution attack that can bring a Parrot drone crashing to the ground, and even a man-in-the-middle attack on a Samsung Smart Refrigerator that could jeopardize a hungry fridge owner's email account and any account associated with that email address.
Industrial manufacturing behemoth GE is using a new ad campaign to convince us that it's a "digital company" now too, but the truth is, manufacturers of IoT devices are relatively new to the business of writing code and unprepared for the brave new world they’re creating.
What can the infosec community do to help solve the problem, other than just find fault? We're devoting the next episode of Dark Reading Radio to that question.
Join us for "Fixing IoT Security," next Wednesday, Sep. 23, at 1:00 p.m. ET, conveniently coinciding with the world's first conference dedicated to IoT security and privacy. The show also coincides with the launch of the Internet of Things Security Foundation (IoTSF), a group established to curate and develop best practices, with associates from a variety of telecom and IoT companies, including Vodafone, British Telecom, and Imagination Technologies.
We'll tackle the topic from both sides -- with guests who approach the topic from an IT security background and guests who approach it from the device manufacturer / embedded systems background.
I'll be your host. Joining me will be:
- Haydn Povey, CEO and founder of Secure Thingz, a start-up that spun out of microprocessor technology giant ARM, and member of the executive steering board for the new IoTSF.
- Jeff Wilbur, chairman of the Online Trust Alliance, which recently released a framework for IoT security and privacy.
- Ruben Santamarta, principal security consultant for IOActive, who's been a leader in research on vulnerabilities in satellite technology. IOActive has been at the forefront of research into car hacking, smart cities security, cyber-physical hacking, and other IoT-related security issues.
- Dark Reading's own Marilyn Cohodas, reporting from Boston at the inaugural IoT Security event.
Have questions you want us to address? Let us know in the comments below or hop into the live chat during our radio broadcast of "Fixing IoT Security," next Wednesday at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. Register now.