Is Your Phone Listening To You: An Experiment
March 22nd, 2019
The Internet of Things (IoT) is quickly changing and revolutionising the world around us. It is being adapted into our homes, businesses and even our cities. While everything being connected can bring real ease and make things appear seamless it also brings plenty of security and privacy fears.
Updating your computer and phone with the latest firewall seems like second nature, partly because many of these devices update automatically but updating your IoT devices may become more important. As more of the devices become connected it could become even easier for hackers to access your information.
Some cases that have been reported, under testing, seem quite daunting. In September a team of Chinese researchers were able to hack a Tesla car from 12 miles away, during the testing they were able to interfere with ‘the car’s brakes, door locks and other electronic features’. While this seems pretty extreme it shows how dangerous it can be.
As well as remotely hacking cars to cause havoc, hackers can also use seemingly less important devices to gather your information. It sounds odd that your thermostat or coffee machine could be hacked but if it is connected to the internet and not updated with the latest firewall software this could be the case.
It’s not just consumers that are being hacked, it is happening to companies as well. In October hackers in America took control of multiple IoT devices, including CCTV and web-connected cameras from inside ‘businesses outside of the US’. Once they had control of the devices they sent requests to internet servers creating a massive DDoS (denial of service) attack resulting in multiple websites, including Netflix, Google, Spotify and Twitter, being down for most of the day.
When purchasing our IoT devices we trust the companies we have bought them from, but what happens if they betray that trust?
Similar to how the hackers can gather our information companies can do this too with the data they are collecting from our use of the Internet of Things. While most of us are familiar with companies collecting and storing our data from purchases, this data seems more personal. And the biggest concern among consumers is how is the company going to use our data?
While the Internet of Things is growing rapidly and showing signs of being a great tool of the future many security and privacy questions still need to be answered.
Do you worry about the security of your Internet of Things devices?