Members of Congress received a dire warning this week about security vulnerabilities in the so-called internet of things (IoT), as cyber experts cautioned that with billions of new devices coming online, coordinated hacking attacks could become — literally — a matter of life and death. House lawmakers convened the hearing on IoT security in response to last month’s distributed denial-of-service attack on the internet addressing provider Dyn, which resulted in temporary outages at popular sites like Twitter and Spotify. (Network World)
I’m not worried about not being able to reach Twitter; I’m worried about not being able to escape my house. Seasonal heat-related brown-outs and ice-related power outages are trivial compared to what is possible when everything that makes your life convenient is bricked and large swaths of homes and businesses can be rendered uninhabitable at any given moment. That IoT is largely an infrastructure or maintenance thing and not a corporate IT thing just means security will be given even shorter shrift (ever dealt with a commercial landlord?). You may choose to not buy “smart” appliances but if enough of your neighbors do you’ll suffer the same negative impacts if they’re hacked en masse.
Also published on Medium.