How your connected home or office is a gift for hackers, criminals, and cyber spies


November 17, 2016

Internet-connected fridges which order your food, virtual assistants which react to your every voice command, and applications which allow you to remotely control almost every aspect of your home: today’s technologies increasingly make The Jetsons look like a prophetic message about the future.

That cartoon offers an idealised view at the world of tomorrow and didn’t anticipate some of the problems a space-age society might face: George Jetson was never locked out because the home got hacked, and Rosie the Robot was never out of service after being infected by ransomware.

Installing the latest technology can provide you with many conveniences, but it also opens up additional entry points for attackers, especially as more and more everyday devices become connected to the internet — and are more and more capable of storing and recording information on almost every event in your life.

“Phones, since they’re such a personal extension of your lives, have a lot more security mechanisms than your television, but there’s not much difference between your television and your phone,” says Dan Wiley, head of incident response at Check Point Software.

“[Your television] may not be mobile, but my God, can you imagine what the television would say about you if the camera was on? About what you’re watching, or what you’re saying? There’s a hell of a lot of information you could gleam off someone in that way.”

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