A recent Net Security.org article reported that security research analysts at WatchGuard Security predicted that cyber attacks will result in a human death. “WatchGuard hopes it is wrong in this prediction. But with more computing devices embedded in cars, phones, TVs and even medical devices, digitally dealt death is not only possible, it’s plausible. Security is still often an afterthought when developing innovative technical systems.
Criminals, hacktivists, and even nation-states are launching increasingly targeted cyber-attacks, resulting in the destruction of physical equipment. Most recently, a researcher even showed how to wirelessly deliver an 830 volt shock to an insecure pacemaker, proving that digital attacks can have a real-world impact.”
In my opinion, these are not shallow predictions. The increasing use of Internet-based computing devices and other technology in automobiles and medical devices is upon us. New models of cars are equipped with computers that control the engine and locks, which is not a new thing, but now more car manufacturers are equipping those computers with telecommunications gear allowing access to and by the Internet. See Upcoming Cyber Security Threats Part 5: Hackers Controlling Your Car for background information.
Medical devices commonly use Internet based telemetry to allow the physicians and other caregivers to monitor the operation of the device and well-being of the patient. However, as the Net Security.org article points out, a pacemaker could be caused to malfunction and cause death. Unscrupulous cybercriminals might be contracted to hack into a pacemaker or respirator to murder a patient. I know that sounds a bit far out, but it’s possible.
And you thought my last article Internet Security Predictions was, admittedly, a bit negative…I suspect this prediction will top that in the “negative” category.
Be careful out there…it’s very dangerous.
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