Government Technology

Hackers Target Internet-Connected Devices

September 6, 2013 By

As the Internet of Things finally connects, a new search engine, Shodan, is leading hackers to Internet-connected devices. Since many such devices have no password protection, or carry a default password, hackers are having fun hijacking these devices and using them to turn on lights or look through webcams in private homes.

On Sept. 4, Forbes carried an article about the dangers of unprotected Internet-connected devices, from baby monitors to automobiles. More than 40,000 people, for example, use a particular baby monitor with a software flaw that allows hackers to easily take control of the device, as Marc Gilbert discovered when he heard a strange voice coming from his infant daughter's room. One security researcher found nearly a million webcams that could be easily hijacked, and took pictures to prove it.

The Federal Trade Commission has taken notice, ordering one camera manufacturer to improve the security of its cameras after discovering hackers were able to look into customers' bedrooms and houses with little trouble.

Now with security systems, lighting, power plants and utilities coming online, the stakes are much higher than vouyerism, and finally, we may be getting our long-awaited wake-up call.

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