Someone May Be Watching... and Listening.

Author:Tyrell, Laura

WITH AN INCREASE of global reliance on the Internet, Internet of Things (IoT) devices also are wading into every facet of our daily lives. According to Gartner, Inc., there will be more than 20,000,000,000 by the end of this year and as many as 75,000,000,000 connected IoT devices by 2025. However, the safety and integrity of these devices remain widely ignored, and there are more and more cases of them of being hacked and used as part of a botnet.

"Things that were once the plot for a science fiction movie, such as household appliances being hacked and turned against humanity, have become a reality. IoT hacking can be extremely effective, producing denial-of-service attacks that can cripple our infrastructure, systems, and way of life," says Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy specialist at NordVPN. "If you have multiple devices connected to the same network in your home or office, and a hacker gets access to one device, [that person] could break into all of them."

Even though it is hard to believe that a baby monitor or a seemingly simple toy can do significant harm, it no longer is just computers or smartphones that are at risk of cyberattacks. Take a look at these crazy examples of IoT hacking and vulnerabilities:

* It always seems that casinos are some of the most-secure organizations in the world, but they can be hacked as well. A few years ago, a group of hackers managed to access a casino's network via an Internet-connected thermometer in an aquarium and extract its high-roller database with all sensitive details.

* Baby monitors started as simple one-way radio transmitters and evolved into sophisticated Wi-Fi-enabled smart devices with cameras, infrared vision, and other features. However, as with everything IoT, those devices can be hacked. In 2018, a family experienced a real nightmare, as a hacker got into the wireless camera system used to keep an eye on the baby and threatened to kidnap him. This case is not an exception. There are several reported incidents of strangers' voices being heard over baby monitors.

* Researchers from tech firm SEC Consult announced that the private sex life of at least 50,000 users had been exposed by a sex toy. Multiple vulnerabilities put at risk not only the privacy and data, but the physical safety of the owners. AH customers' data was accessible via the Internet in such a way that explicit images, chat logs, sexual orientation, email addresses, and passwords were visible in clear text--and the...

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