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Kaspersky Founder: IoT Stands For 'Internet Of Threats'

In a recent interview on NBC News, the founder of the Kaspersky anti-virus company, Eugene Kaspersky, said that in the future there won't be just PCs or smartphones getting hacked, but everything that's called "smart."

That includes smart fridges, smart coffee machines, smart cars, smart TVs, smart homes, and so on. "You are watching the TV, the TV is watching you," he added. It wasn't too long ago that we discovered LG and Samsung smart TVs could either listen to your conversations or track you in other ways.

Eugene Kaspersky even went on to say that "IoT," which normally stands for the "Internet of Things," should really be called the "Internet of Threats," because IoT devices are going to vastly expand the ways in which hackers can get to you and your information.

We've seen chip companies such as ARM, Imagination and Freescale try to tackle IoT security by securely isolating critical data at the hardware level, where most attacks could be stopped dead in their tracks.

Google and ARM have also been working on their own simpler and more secure operating systems for IoT devices. The two companies have been working on Thread as well, which is a mesh networking protocol that's supposed to keep most IoT devices off the Internet so they can't be exposed directly to hackers.

Even all of the above will likely not be enough to keep IoT devices very secure. It will ultimately be up to the OEMs making those $50 smart coffee machines to update them on time, whenever a new vulnerability is found for their devices, and to do it for as long as their customers keep using them (which could be 10 years or more, especially in the case of smart TVs or cars).

Having certain types of electronics become smarter does have its own value and advantages, which is why the Internet of Things (or Threats, as it were) seems unavoidable. If the security of these devices becomes a top priority for customers, then those companies selling IoT devices with weak security might eventually be pushed out of the market. This could be harder to achieve in certain markets (such as with coffee machines), while it could be much easier to achieve in markets where "smart things" can kill you if you get hacked (such as the smart car market).

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  • spdragoo
    Why does a coffee maker need Internet connectivity? Ok, I can maybe see a way to connect to your LAN so that you can say, "Oh, crap, I forgot to set my coffeemaker to automatically start brewing so that it's ready as soon as my shower is done...good thing I have the app on my smartphone so that I can set it without getting out of bed"...unless, of course, you also end up thinking, "Oh, crap, I hope I remembered to fill the reservoir with water, & to put a fresh filter & grounds in it", or "I hope I remembered to make sure the Keurig-style cups in the hopper are ready to go", since no water = no coffee, & no coffee grounds = plain hot water.

    But that's the problem: how many times are you going to say on the way home from work, "Dang, I could really use a fresh cup of coffee when it's sunny & hot outside as I get home, I'd better make sure my coffeemaker has it brewed by the time I pull into the driveway...sure hope I remembered to refill the water reservoir this morning...".
    Reply
  • de5_Roy
    isn't that the name of regular internet? :pt1cable:
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    Why does a coffee maker need Internet connectivity? Ok, I can maybe see a way to connect to your LAN so that you can say, "Oh, crap, I forgot to set my coffeemaker to automatically start brewing so that it's ready as soon as my shower is done...good thing I have the app on my smartphone so that I can set it without getting out of bed"...unless, of course, you also end up thinking, "Oh, crap, I hope I remembered to fill the reservoir with water, & to put a fresh filter & grounds in it", or "I hope I remembered to make sure the Keurig-style cups in the hopper are ready to go", since no water = no coffee, & no coffee grounds = plain hot water.

    But that's the problem: how many times are you going to say on the way home from work, "Dang, I could really use a fresh cup of coffee when it's sunny & hot outside as I get home, I'd better make sure my coffeemaker has it brewed by the time I pull into the driveway...sure hope I remembered to refill the water reservoir this morning...".
    the brewers can also tell you how much water or coffee ground is in there. mind blown?

    but i do agree with your sentiments. not everything needs to be connected, or even SHOULD be connected. there's just one extra headache to get something connected. my printer disconnects randomly all the time, and I bet all these things will have the same problem. but i have to say, being able to turn on your AC in advance sounds pretty awesome.
    Reply
  • kelmen
    shouldn't it be "threats of internet"?
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    16121320 said:
    Why does a coffee maker need Internet connectivity?
    If you think hard enough, you can likely find multiple reasons, however questionable they might be, to connect just about anything to the internet.

    I do not like the notion of putting everything online either but that won't stop companies from trying to market iToasters, iDildos, etc. to monitor usage and provide online management services.
    Reply
  • Shin-san
    16121320 said:
    Why does a coffee maker need Internet connectivity?
    If you think hard enough, you can likely find multiple reasons, however questionable they might be, to connect just about anything to the internet.

    I do not like the notion of putting everything online either but that won't stop companies from trying to market iToasters, iDildos, etc. to monitor usage and provide online management services.
    Why does a coffee maker need Internet connectivity? Ok, I can maybe see a way to connect to your LAN so that you can say, "Oh, crap, I forgot to set my coffeemaker to automatically start brewing so that it's ready as soon as my shower is done...good thing I have the app on my smartphone so that I can set it without getting out of bed"...unless, of course, you also end up thinking, "Oh, crap, I hope I remembered to fill the reservoir with water, & to put a fresh filter & grounds in it", or "I hope I remembered to make sure the Keurig-style cups in the hopper are ready to go", since no water = no coffee, & no coffee grounds = plain hot water.

    But that's the problem: how many times are you going to say on the way home from work, "Dang, I could really use a fresh cup of coffee when it's sunny & hot outside as I get home, I'd better make sure my coffeemaker has it brewed by the time I pull into the driveway...sure hope I remembered to refill the water reservoir this morning...".
    Unfortunately, marketers know how to take advantage of this. The coffee maker can actually have a water line hooked to it when the house is built, and the $120 coffee maker might add more value to a $200,000+ house. Scarily enough, little things like this can actually mean a higher chance of a sale. People don't understand that you can upgrade things

    16121320 said:
    Why does a coffee maker need Internet connectivity?
    If you think hard enough, you can likely find multiple reasons, however questionable they might be, to connect just about anything to the internet.

    I do not like the notion of putting everything online either but that won't stop companies from trying to market iToasters, iDildos, etc. to monitor usage and provide online management services.
    It's getting easier with free OSes and cheap SoC CPUs.

    That being said, I do agree with you completely. Analytics are very valuable for marketers, and they would love to be able to track information about you. I don't want that in everything that I own. My car already has it, and it's creepy
    Reply
  • Blueberries
    Yes..I could see why intelligence agencies may be interested in what time of day you drink your coffee, that way they can triangulate any coffee shops you've been to based on your work route.
    Reply
  • sohryu09
    Coffee maker was just an example. Mainly because everything and anything will be able to connect to the internet. Why you ask? Because it can.
    Reply
  • Blueberries
    This isn't really new information by any means though, hackers already have access to your cell phone and can turn on your microphone or camera without you knowing. They can also take over your router and use your house as a repeater or to anonymously broadcast information. You should probably just assume that anything that you connect to the internet, especially over WiFi, can be intercepted and read. If the hacker or team of hackers is that developed they can reverse engineer a server that acts like a normal response within the end of the day, and people should just know that in 2015.

    Don't think about WHAT can be accessed, think about HOW it affects you. What can a hacker do if they have access to my fridge? Change my clock settings? Read my grocery list?
    Reply
  • captaincharisma
    the IoT reminds me of the video game watch dogs where you are able to control everything around you with your smartphone.

    it doesn't seem that far off now does it?
    Reply