Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hackers Use Internet Appliances to Steal

What has your Fitbit been doing behind your back?
It sounds like a nightmare that is equally terrifying and ridiculous.  While you go on vacation, thieves hack into your internet-connected appliances to order a bunch of online stuff and have it delivered to your home address (while you are away) then pick it up from your house and abscond. When you come home you have no idea what is going t shock you when you read next month's credit card statement.

But it is becoming a much more common occurrence.  Now that everything from routers to refrigerators is connected to the internet, it is that much easier to get into your home network and computer information, and use that information against you.

Hunter Communications Original News Source:
Los Angeles Times

Link to article:
Excerpt: "For decades, hackers have used the Internet to break into network routers, personal computers and advanced industrial devices.

But now, a whole new generation of often mundane, household devices is being connected to the Internet — and hackers are having a field day.

Thanks to smaller, cheaper processors, speedier wireless connections and the explosion of smartphones and tablets, it's becoming easier and more affordable to digitally link just about any object — sports equipment, watches, light bulbs, washing machines, thermostats.

If you can think of it, someone has probably stuck a sensor on it and connected it to the Internet.

Like a PC, the devices have operating systems and processors. And when they are connected to the Internet, hackers can break in and seize control.

Manufacturers and consumers haven't taken the same security precautions as they would with a PC, however, enabling hackers to turn seemingly innocuous gadgets into drones that can be used to spread malicious spam or launch a massive cyberattack — disrupting services or shutting down entire networks.

Even more frightening for many security experts is the prospect that the hackers could cause physical harm to people by shutting off thermostats, cars or even medical devices.

Such fears led doctors to turn off the wireless functionality of a heart implant in former Vice President Dick Cheney, out of concern that someone might hack it and attempt to kill him."

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