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Europol: someone will be murdered via the IoT by 2015

by Mark Tyson on 6 October 2014, 12:05

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A recent report from The European Police Office (Europol) says that the world's first recorded 'cyber murder' is likely to happen before 2014 is out. The risk comes mainly from hackers breaking in to critical safety and health equipment linked to the Internet of Things (IoT).

As more and more devices get connected to the internet they become open to remote hacking. Hackers may target these connected devices for purposes of either monetary gain or to inflict personal harm suggests Russia Today. Internet connected medical devices may be the source of the first IoT murder, it is thought. There are numerous medical devices which could seriously harm the user if they worked incorrectly; heart implants and insulin pumps are mentioned specifically.

However connected devices that could potentially lethally injure people aren't limited to medical devices. Web connected homes and cars could also prove vulnerable to hacks and your personal safety. With the growing number of smart devices, Europol believes that their exploitation by criminals is becoming inevitable.

The Independent cites a couple of examples of hacking into connected devices causing problems. It reports that up to 300 monitors used for high-risk pregnancies in US hospitals had slowed down because of malware. In another example a Texas couple complained that their smart baby monitor was hacked and abuse shouted through the speakers. The Independent also notes that former US vice-president Dick Cheney had the wireless network connectivity of his implanted defibrillator disabled due to safety concerns.

There's currently over 10 billion internet enabled devices and that number is set to skyrocket as the IoT device trend picks up momentum. Europol held a conference last week about how European police agencies could combat cybercrime together. It identified prevention, information exchange, investigation and capacity building as key elements to a unified plan.



HEXUS Forums :: 13 Comments

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I cant help but feel this is largely scare mongering, with perhaps a slight touch of justification for the age of government spying on innocent people we live in now.

WE NEED TO SPY ON YOU OR SOMEONE WILL KILL YOU.
I must be stupid if I'm the only one who thinks “Lets not put an internet enabled device that could eventually be completely hijacked from out control into the mission critical, life dependant bit of hardware”.

You want your life support hooked up over wi-fi, sure!…

But I'm ever the cynic.
Biscuit
I cant help but feel this is largely scare mongering

Perhaps, but as history has shown, the drive towards ease of use has far outweighed the thought of security.

Just as an example, all those internet facing government networks, power stations and other sensitive sites that can just be accessed by anyone with a computer.

Jowsey
I must be stupid if I'm the only one who thinks “Lets not put an internet enabled device that could eventually be completely hijacked from out control into the mission critical, life dependant bit of hardware”.

Nope, not just you. The obsession with the IoT is all made worse because theres no fixed protocols that would determine some sort of inter-operation and perhaps some sort of security layer that protects the devices at the LAN-WAN boundary.
Roslin: A computerised network would simply make it faster and easier for the teachers to be able to teach-

Adama: Let me explain something to you. Many good men and women lost their lives aboard this ship because someone wanted a faster computer to make life easier. I'm sorry that I'm inconveniencing you or the teachers, but I will not allow a networked computerized system to be placed on this ship while I'm in command. Is that clear?

We just need shiny walking toasters now :pcpunch:
Challenge accepted!