Why you should be ‘suitably paranoid’ about your home devices’ cybersecurity

The proliferation of internet-connected home devices such as thermostats, baby monitors and fridges is creating an ever-expanding interconnected web known as the Internet of Things, or IoT. But security and legal experts warn that machine-to-machine communication is creating a new level of risk — by providing hackers with new vulnerabilities to exploit.

h/t Marvin

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  • mauser 98

    October 21, 2010

    “Lower Merion School District outside Philadelphia came under fire for using laptop webcams to look in on students at home.”
    “$610K Settlement”

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/610k-settlement-in-school-webcam-spy-case/

  • General P. Malaise

    isn’t your iphony doing the same thing? isn’t your smart TV doing the same thing?

    …….or look a squirrel

  • Tooth&Claw

    Refuse to purchase “smart’ appliances. I want them dumb and simple. After an experience with an electronic thermostat, I want no additional complications, settings or features.

    • tom_billesley

      Having a pacemaker or insulin pump connected to the internet of things may not be a good idea.

      • No way you can have an encrypted Wifi connection with these things if there’s no way of typing in a password on them. Unless the guy’s got a keyboard on his pacemaker etc. Methinks.

  • Hard Little Machine

    99% of all smartphone users don’t take the least precautions nor would they if you pointed it out and they managed to stay focused long enough to pay attention to what you were telling them. All of this goes over everyone’s heads because whatever harm it does or could perpetrate is nothing to them in contrast to the golly gee-whiz factor of convenience or cool. You have a few basic choices – either don’t use this technology or minimize it wherever you can or, adopt a don’t-care attitude or both. I don’t encrypt my phone or even put a lock screen on it. Why? There’s nothing on it anyone could use. There is one app that’s encrypted and password protected on the phone but that’s a special case and extremely limited. The same is true for my personal computers of which there are many. There is nothing on them that could be used against me. I guess if someone wants my kids school projects from 10 years ago they can have them but other than that, there’s nothing. Even cloud storage is limited to family photographs. No online banking, no online bill paying, no social media, no records keeping. If we had better, faster more reliable universal WiFi or unmetered 4GLTE we would turn all our machines into Chromebooks and password encrypt all the cloud user shares. And if that’s not robust enough to keep Google from spying then there’s nothing for anything any of us can do. Oh well.

    • John

      There isn’t much one can do apart from keeping usage to a strict minimum.

      The risk is now so great that certain elements in some national security agencies now operate/communicate off-line only.

  • Mark Matis

    They are also providing “Law Enforcement” with new vulnerabilities to exploit with impunity, since the device manufacturers have given them backdoors into everything that they can – and do – use without any warrant.

    The stench is overwhelming:
    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/matt-drudge-zings-mueller-probe-what-is-the-punishment-when-the-fbi-lies-to-us/article/2642391

  • simus1

    As someone who can easily waste an hour trying to persuade wireless headphones or speakers to bend to my will for at least 5 minutes, I must express my admiration for those world disturbing hackers who are light years ahead of the likes of me.

  • SDMatt

    Some hackers use your wireless security camera as part of a bot swarm, or Kathleen Wynne decides the comfort level of your house in the depths of winter, or Google decides while you’re tootling down the 401 that your political views require the revoking of your self-driving car privileges.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  • DMB

    Glorified Malware/Spyware with a social justice warrior twist!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MECcIJW67-M