Your Home, Car, And Medical Devices Are All Vulnerable To Hacker Attacks

August 14, 2013  |  

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There was once a time when you only worried about your Internet and phone privacy being breached by prying eyes. Beware even more because now high-tech security homes, cars, and even implanted medical devices can not only be monitored, but hacked to cause harm — and even death — to the owners, reports The New York Times.

At a demonstration of car hacks at a computer security conference in Las Vegas, “the researchers completely disabled a driver’s ability to control a vehicle. No breaks. Distorted steering. All with a click of a button,” the NY Times said. “[R]esearchers warn that dozens of modern vehicles could be susceptible.” In other words, malicious hackers can make you get into a car accident.

Once any kind of computer is installed into a car, or any other device for that matter, it becomes susceptible to hacker control. Today’s modern cars contain anywhere from 10 to 40 computers. Bluetooth, wire sensors, and telematics units are all vulnerable to infiltration.

“[A]s cars get Internet connections, things will get easier for the attacker,” said Charlie Miller, a security researcher at Twitter.

Your home isn’t safe either. Your television and webcam can be turned into a monitoring system that can watch everything that you are doing and saying. Even your digital refrigerator is in jeopardy; it can be turned off without your knowledge leaving you with large amounts of spoiled food.

Some hackers could just be practical jokesters. However, some may have more of a lethal agenda in mind. Although he mysteriously died shortly before the reveal, Barnaby Jack, a hacker who was in his 30s, wanted to warn device makers on how implantable medical devices like pacemakers can be hacked to kill the owner. He was best known for hacking into an ATM and making it dispense money. The cause of his death is still unknown.

“As technology embeds itself into these everyday devices and other parts of our lives, you will see an increased focus on their security,” said Chris Rolf, founder of Leaf Security Research. “Anywhere you find technology you’ll inevitably find hackers.”

What’s most alarming is that technological experts still haven’t figured out how to thwart hack attacks in personal computers despite trying for 10 years. “[T]here isn’t any reason to think that we can stop attacks against cars or other devices in the near future,” Miller said.

Are you concerned about being hacked?

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