IoT or Internet of Things – it really is becoming “a thing”.
However – like so many fledgeling technologies – its ability to deliver is outstripping its maturity as a space we live, work, compete, stick-a-flag-in-and-call-home.
With the recent example of the Dyn Attack invoking some of the largest Denial of Service attacks in history.
“The internet can be attacked and has been attacked in all kinds of different ways, so yes the UK needs to have a strong but responsible and accountable police force and GCHQ needs to have the tools to defend us and defend the open internet,” said Berners-Lee.
…and with particular reference to the KrebsOnlineSecurity blog and the Dyn hosting provider attack…
“As a consumer, if you buy a webcam and plug it in*, you’d better put a password on it, not because somebody is going to be trying to find out what you are doing in your home, but because an automated machine is going to be taking over all the webcams.”
The latter I would however challenge. Sure – there is always the entertainment, privacy, blackmail side of things – however the driving need is for resources, foot soldiers, access. The very cannon fodder that pulls together bot armies to carry out such attacks.
Access to your network, be that home, or work – be it through phone, printer, webcam, or toaster it really is unimportant to the attacker it serves as access to your network, and this means wider access to your resources that are accessed from there: Your social media, your email, your bills, your friends, your world, your *information*… digitally speaking – as far as anyone else is concerned “being you”. Controlling access, and good passwords on devices matters. …and will matter more with the introduction of the new European law that will supersede the current and aged DPA … and this one has some serious teeth and implications with regards to liabilities.
You will have heard in the news recently about GCHQ stepping up to under-one-ring-bind-them-all in terms of the disparate online cyber security concerns. This is afterall a space within which we ‘live’ – no less so than a town, or a battlefield – and laws and means have to be developed and deployed to defend and police them… and hard lessons will be learned upon the way.
While nobody wants to be a Luddite or fun hoover – it pays to be ahead of the curve, and keep an eye on what you plug in, how it is secured, what it is allowed to speak to, what can get to it. It matters more than you would imagine… and will do more so as the months and years pass.
Defending your account and services starts with your environment, your devices, your network.
*webcam: The ones in question are specifically internet connected, with external access, as opposed to USB as pictured.