As we move closer to universal connectivity between mobile devices, appliances, and machines both at home and in the workplace, the threat of damage that may be inflicted due to vulnerabilities in electronics and software becomes more and more troubling. Entire buildings may be rendered seemingly haunted with doors remotely unlocked, thermostats secretly reset; lights flickering; and spam directed to televisions, water coolers and exercise machines.
"This is nothing. This is small social stuff. The big stuff is coming," Andy Thurai, chief architect and group CTO of application security and identity products with Intel Corp., said during the recent Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council's Internet of Things (IoT) conference.
In a world where people and things are always connected to the Internet with the potential to be hacked remotely, the threat of hacking takes on a whole new meaning. Hospital equipment could be maliciously misused to endanger people's lives; a city's traffic controls could cause mayhem in a denial-of-service attack. Hackers controlling the energy grid could hold power hostage from entire neighborhoods for days. A prominent security consultancy, Red Tiger Security, has identified at least "38,000 vulnerabilities in U.S. energy sector alone" said Mr. Thurai.