As the internet of things (IoT) rolls out hackers have found ingenious ways of conning you out of your cash. Today we see how hackers can break into IoT kit, take control and then demand a ransom.
The scam, known as ransomware, involves a hacker breaking into a device connected to the internet and taking control, like a digital kidnapping. And in a traditional kidnapping, your world is not going to return to normal until you pay up.
In June last year a Czech cyber-security firm, showed how easy it was to how to install ransomware on a Internet of things coffee machine.
The firm kept the pot hostage by making it gush boiling water until the owner pays up.
From expresso to the motorway, where next?
Grabbing control of a coffee maker isn’t going to kill someone but in 2015 hackers took control of a car and controlled the vehicle’s steering wheel.
Security researchers from Twitter and IOactive, a cyber-security firm, staged a demonstration for Wired in which they remotely took control of a car.
They were able to turn on the stereo apply the brakes and even, in some circumstances, control the steering wheel.
As a result Fiat Chrysler, the car’s manufacturer, announced it would recall 1.4m vehicles.
Security researchers have demonstrated an ability to hack into Internet of Things enabled medical devices, including pacemakers and insulin pumps.
Hacking an insulin pump would be a convoluted way to kill someone. But less drastic sorts of crime will be possible, too.
But the IoT will do more than simply give hackers new targets.
As IoT is rolled out firms will face legal challenges as hackers show they can take control. In our next blog we talk through the legal challenges that companies may face if they leave themselves open to attack from hackers.