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  • The internet of things

    This concept (IoT) is all the rage now with makers of all kinds of stuff from cars to kitchen gadgets, and everything in between. There are internet-capable thermostats, lightbulbs, doorlocks, etc. It's almost a given that any new car will be "connected". Even implanted medical devices are available with wireless capabilities. As much as I love computers and technology (and make a living working with them), I see this trend as a really bad idea.

    There have already been many documented cases of hackers accessing baby monitor cameras or computer webcams to watch and record what happens in the "privacy" of people's houses. We see constant examples of hackers stealing personal data from "secure" networks. The NSA and other agencies daily overstep constitutional boundaries to watch and gather information about citizens. Why would anyone consider it a good idea to allow that potential access to their cars, home controls, and even implanted devices? I realize that most people simply find it convenient to be able to remotely control their own stuff over the internet, but they fail to consider the implications if the (generally very flimsy) security is breached. I won't even bother discussing what could happen if power and/or internet access goes down.

    Would you like your car to be tracked everywhere you go? How about allowing a stranger to remotely unlock the doors or kill the engine at any time? Would you like someone else to be able to control the lights, thermostat, locks, television, and even the refrigerator in your home? Even more serious, would you want a pacemaker or insulin pump control to be hijacked by a stranger? These scenarios may sound farfetched, but watch the regular barrage of data breaches on the news and tell me that hackers and government agencies aren't eagerly waiting for the internet of things to open up many more possibilities for their nefarious actions.

    I'll pass on the IoT concept and stick with old-school. I really like and use my computer and iPod, but no other devices in my home or car need to be "connected". I don't want a remotely-activated home automation system. I heat with wood, my refrigerator keeps food cold but doesn't surf the web, and my doorlocks are non-electronic deadbolts. Unfortunately, I fear that many people who have blind faith in the conveniences of technology will not realize the huge potential downside until too late. Consider yourselves warned...
    gracer, ASurvivor and Tumbleweed like this.

  • #2
    If this has to be brought in,there needs to be a corresponding change in cybersecurity risk management.Military drones deployed in combat situations overseas were hacked and disabled by the enemy via wifi. Products from baby monitors to security cameras to surgical robots have all been hacked,need i say more,
    We should revert to maybe Stone age where everything was physical.This IT era is only bringing more harm and it is rendering us unsafe with its so called "evolution".

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    • #3
      I think that the IoT concepts has both benefits and some issues that need to be care of. It's of course a useful things that comes handy in quite a lot of situations. The major problem, as the thread creator mentioned is that an attacked can harm seriously the safety of a person.

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      • #4
        This concept is not fool proof. Sure there are some drawbacks, but overall it's a welcoming change. I think our world would be much more automated with this which will lead to a better lifestyle.

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        • #5
          True, as for technology, it can be hacked. Technology as of now are being controlled or manipulated through computers. As for vehicles, we have this what we so call GPS that can be connected to the internet .. soon the car can now be driven through computer - just like a computer game. Houses are built with technological things, computers etc. connected to their money , soon computer geeks would be able to get through it. We must not be blinded by technology rather we must use it with caution. This could make us safer and better

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          • #6
            Originally posted by calicer1996 View Post
            This concept is not fool proof. Sure there are some drawbacks, but overall it's a welcoming change. I think our world would be much more automated with this which will lead to a better lifestyle.
            i share your opnion but I think we should not underrate the potential harmful aspects of the Internet of Things else we can get really hurt in that specific case.

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            • #7
              Those who think that the IoT will improve our standard of living, I respect your opinions, but I have to disagree. I believe the potential for harm far outweighs the good. People love convenience but are blinded to the fact that more and more they are using devices that they don't understand at all. When someone who does understand the technology and has bad intentions attacks vulnerabilities in the system, the average person will not know until too late, will not know how to counter it, and will be completely at the mercy of the bad guy.

              Given that many people don't currently protect their personal computers or home networks, how much more opportunity for sabotage will there be with connected devices all over the home and in their cars? The rash of government and commercial sites being hacked should show what a trivial matter it would be for hackers to access weakly-protected home systems. And, if you or a loved one has a pacemaker, insulin pump, etc. the idea of a malicious person being able to remotely access the controls in connected medical devices should terrify you.

              If you believe that the IoT will lead to a better and safer lifestyle you have a vastly higher opinion of human nature than I do. Unfortunately, I see the dark, dangerous side of universal connectivity as far more likely than some technology-driven utopia. Feel free to disagree with me though and embrace the IoT. As for me, I'll do what I see as necessary to prepare and shield myself and my family.

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              • #8
                We live in an age where even the most secure systems are being hacked into; so it sounds perfectly reasonable to me that it would easily be possible for a hacker to be able to use your own security system to get into your house. Just because we think something is secure , does not mean that it is.
                I remember, years ago, we had gone to see a friend, and it turned out that they were not home. However, we did not know that, and as we pulled up to their house, we tried to call them on our CB in the van. To our surprise and amazement, the garage door opened, but no one was there.
                Eventually, we figured out that the radio frequency of the CB had triggered the garage door opener.
                Even worse, we could not get the garage door to shut again, and had to leave with the garage door still open.
                Obviously, the computerized ones wouldn't open that easily; but the point is that they also thought their garage door was securely shut and locked.

                Another worrisome thing is , what if something happens and there is no electricity ? Then you might not be able to even get in your house because you can't activate the lock to get in. If there was an EMP attack, which is one of the things we have to worry about, then you could not even drive your car because any computerized vehicle would no longer start up. It would just die, wherever you are at, and you are out of luck.
                In an ideal world, most of these devices would be handy to have; but we live in a less than ideal world, and as fcphdJim pointed out, it is a good idea to have things that are not connected to the wifi, so you know that you can control how and if it works for you.
                One of the things that i have been reading , is that tthis may be Apple's next big push when they have their next expo of the new developments. As popular as all of the other Apple gadgets are; I am sure that many people will now be adding the Apple iHome (or whatever they name it) to their list of new developments.

                I was just reading that the latest hacking was into the US Army website. If even the military is not safe and protected, there is no way that i believe that I can be safe and protected !
                fcphdJim likes this.

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                • #9
                  Imagine my surprise!

                  http://www.wired.com/2015/06/hackers...al-drug-pumps/

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                  • #10
                    I need to preface what I am about to say with this: I've worked all of my adult life in Information Technology in some capacity. It has been primarily on the software side, but a decent amount on the hardware side too. In the area of charitable work and emergency management, beyond donations, most of my work has tended to be technical in nature (e.g., computers, communications equipment, etc.). I don't say this randomly, but rather to state I'm not a Luddite who is irrationally afraid of technological advancements.

                    That said, I agree with the original post. On personal level, our household only incorporates technology into our lives that have a real benefit and little risk. Many of these home and vehicle automation systems provide a minimal benefit, but open the door to all kinds of potential problems. The utility of these systems range from the somewhat helpful to, frankly, faddish silliness. And each provides a possible point of equipment failure and/or deliberate attack.

                    Kevin Mitnick, famed (and now convicted) hacker once said: "You can never protect yourself 100%. What you do is protect yourself as much as possible and mitigate risk to an acceptable degree. You can never remove all risk." I think he has a point.
                    Last edited by ASurvivor; 06-11-2015, 06:27 PM.
                    fcphdJim and dillinger10 like this.
                    "Success is survival." ~ Leonard Cohen

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                    • #11
                      This is the downside of technological advancement. Sure, innovations and modernization has been making our daily activities a lot easier and we now live more comfortably with all these things but there will always be some downsides. Thereís always a catch in every positive situation. I am not against technology or the internet but Iím still on the more traditional part of things. I can still function well without having to internet things out in my personal life. The only things I use internet on are my computer and other gadgets that can be used with the internet without risking my personal space.
                      fcphdJim likes this.

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                      • #12
                        I just came across this article. That's exactly the type of risk I'm talking about!
                        dillinger10 likes this.

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                        • #13
                          I stay away from computers and computer technology wherever and whenever I can. I can't even stand having my smartphone near me when I am at home, not to mention the fact that I would never even dream of having it in my bedroom during the night. The same goes for my tablet and laptop. I only ever use them in my office. I switch my wifi modem off whenever I'm not using the internet. I feel sick only thinking of those big flat screen digital TV's that everyone seems to have these days. I can't stand looking at them. They hurt my eyes and do strange things to my head.
                          I try to get away from all the electronic radiation around me as often as I can. My favorite places of escape are the mountains and the beaches where I can recharge my energies in a natural way...

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by fcphdJim View Post
                            I just came across this article. That's exactly the type of risk I'm talking about!
                            It appears that Fiat have responded by recalling 1.4 million vehicles for a software update after the report of the hack became public.

                            Fiat claims that the hack was an "isolated incident that could not be easily repeated, because it required extensive technical knowledge of the vehicle." That doesn't exactly instill me with a lot of confidence. "Could not easily be repeated" doesn't mean it won't happen again. And we all know, it probably will. As with any technology in its infant stages, it is almost always susceptible to abuse and exploitation.

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                            • #15
                              Everything can be computerized but everything should not have an internet connection. There is now a technology were a doctor can perform a surgery to an overseas patient with the help of an internet controlled robot. Just imagine if that thing got hacked.

                              Recently there is an electronic billboard that caused a lot of controversy. A hacker decided to replace what is displayed on that electronic billboard. It is replaced by a "shock porn" When we say shock porn, its a kind of porn that even people who loves watching porn won't stomach to watch. Just imagine all the children who got scarred for life for seeing the offensive content on that electronic billboard.

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