Tuesday, March 10, 2015
There is excitement in the tech community over the rapidly developing Internet of Things, but it could turn into a PR nightmare. The Internet of Things refers to online sensors and devices that one can put nearly anywhere from homes to cars to refrigerators to one's own wrist. There is only one major problem with doing so -- lack of security. Tens of thousands of these connected devices were installed without basic protection, and using a readily available search engine, they were discovered. Fortunately, the searchers weren't interested in hacking the sensors, but someone will be -- and soon. That so many devices could remain open to hackers reveals the naivete of the original users. It is part of a romantic notion still prevalent in parts of the internet that the network is built for good and not evil. The thought process goes like this. Who would want to hack this device and besides, how would they find it? The answer was no one would want to do it and they couldn't find it anyway. Neither of those answers are true any longer. We know now that hackers will go anywhere and penetrate anything for fun, for profit, for reasons that are inimical to the owner of the device. Before the Internet of Things becomes ubiquitous, there needs to be a better sense and practice of security.