Bear with us for the next ten days or so as we “struggle” through a vacation in an area with irregular internet service (at best). No humblebrag for us, just a straight up explanation.
But we’re not completely out-of-the loop while we’re out of the country -- we did discover an interesting new-ish web publication called “IoT University,” via an intriguing article about the flipside of the Internet of Things -- just like every other element of technology, it will both simplify certain elements of our lives while bringing in a whole new set of complications.
Or, as Bruce Springsteen once sang, “With every wish, there comes a curse.”
A year ago, the only real downside to the Internet of Things was the concern about the increasing encroachment of Big Brother (and/or Big Sister). But just in the past week, hackers and other talented/scary hacker types have shown Big Bro and Sis may be just the first gauntlet, compared to Cyber-terrorism and Ransom Ware.
Literally the day after we read that IoT University article linked above, there was a story on The Next Web about a pair of UK researchers for an IT security firm that showed how easily a smart thermometer can be hijacked and held for ransom until a fee is paid -- in BitCoins of course!
The security guys say it’s an easy problem to fix with a patch, but of course this is just the first salvo in the never-ending whack-a-mole war.
The IoT University piece says that people are being waaaaaay too casual about the potential for abuse -- individual, professional, communal and governmental -- the Internet of Things is facing. They recommend a three-pronged approach to heading these problems off at the pass:
Cybersecurity Threat Awareness and Mitigation Training for IT Organization Stakeholders.
Make Major New Investments in Cybersecurity Hardware and Software Systems.
An Internet of Things (IoT) Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign.
Anybody want to place any bets on how soon this happens? What’s the over/under on it happening BEFORE a major breach that, say, shuts down the Northeast’s network of home thermostats in the middle of a huge winter storm?