As regular readers of the EiQ blog know, we’re suspicious of the Internet of Things (IoT), the massive collection of Internet-connected devices that don’t fall into the traditional “computer” category. From “smart” energy meters, to in-car technology, to Internet-connected home appliances, the IoT is an incredibly broad spectrum of technologies that can gain value – in some cases, significant value, in other cases, more dubious – by connecting to other devices and networks.
Last Friday night, a cacophony of 156 public warning system sirens sounded in Dallas, Texas. The sirens weren’t responding to a danger, such as tornados or other similar threats. Instead, these sirens were hacked, sounding off maximum volume well into the early hours of Saturday morning. This may see
m like a prank similar to something out of a modern-day “Animal House,” or a badly-scripted Hollywood treatment of hacking culture. But the reality is that attacks on physical infrastructure represent a potential threat that pales the scope and effect of traditional hacks.
The past week has provided some interesting revelations around the Internet of Things (IoT). As we all know, the IoT is that collection of generally unmanaged devices with embedded connectivity to the Internet. From cars, to refrigerators, thermostats, televisions and more, the IoT seeks to connect everything it can to the world’s largest global network. Conceptually, the IoT is a great thing: it can lead to more efficient use of energy, customized manufacturing, faster transportation and much more. However, as we’ve seen in the past ten days, there’s a dark side to the IoT.