My prediction. Privacy and security among our digital devices will become a footnote in history. Behold the coming security meltdown, thanks to the Internet of Things and government intervention and overreach in our lives.
The Internet of Things is loosely defined as the growing network of physical objects embedded with electronics, sensors, software, and network connectivity; everything from fridge to car, from TV to the smart home. If a Mac can be locked up and ransomed, then what about your car?
Of Ransomware And Hackers
This past week the popular file sharing app Transmission had its installer hacked which could have encrypted your Mac and held it for ransom. In other words, you would not have been able to use your Mac unless you paid the ransom.
Every week we’re treated to news of seemingly secure government agencies or large corporations that are hacked and have data stolen. Yet, here’s the U.S. government on a rampage to reduce security of our devices to give us greater security. I’m not the only one who sees the problem in that but it extends much further.
Already underway, the Internet of Things promises to inundate humankind with a gazillion devices, all connected to the internet in some way or another, and all likely are as vulnerable as your Mac running the wrong version of Transmission.
How long before your electric car gets hacked and ransomed? It could come in an email message or a pop up message on the screen.
Your Tesla has been hacked and disabled. Pay 500-bitcoin to get it back.
Whoa! Is that even possible? Yes. And it could even be probable for many thousands of Tesla owners or anyone with a device that is connected to the Internet of Things.
Try another scenario. You’ve just arrived at home after a shopping trip. You try to open the garage door but it won’t open. It happens. But not this way.
Your home has been hacked and locked up. Pay 500-bitcoin to get it open.
The same scenario could apply to other devices at home, work, or on your person. If the government gets a back door to open up previously secure iPhones, how long before hackers, criminals, and terrorists get the same access? And once inside how long before your device comes with a ransom?
Hackers working for Iran captured a U.S. drone which used GPS to fly over specific locations. The spoofed GPS enabled Iran to take the drone off course where it landed and was confiscated by the military. Could the same thing happen to your car, electric or otherwise? Don’t snicker or laugh. This is serious. Government agencies and corporations that are hacked are in the news every week. And those are only the ones we hear about. It’s likely that much worse is going on elsewhere.
Privacy is a different issue than security, though both are related. But it’s easy to extend this coming security meltdown from the car to the home to the person. Imagine getting an email that your pacemaker has been hacked and hijacked and is up for ransom. Pay money or it gets turned off.
All these connected devices can bring convenience to humankind, but as we’ve seen with networks and computers, all of which are vulnerable to some kind of attack or hack, there is a danger which is yet to be realized. And our government wants to reduce our levels of privacy and security– in the name of security. Folks, we have bigger fish to fry.