The Internet of (hacked) Things

Posted by CJD on April 11, 2013

Things other than straight-forward computers are now being hung off the internet – and have been for years, of course.

There were always people that claimed it was important to control the temperature of your freezer or bedroom from the office and there are even a few sad sacks that actually do it.

It always seemed to be a solution waiting for a problem to me. Companies like BT and AT&T, despite being the very last firms on earth to actually innovate in these areas, always had demos built of the ‘house of the future’ with intelligent dust bins and cookers and the like scattered around in a gee-wiz sort of way.

But it seems now that many important things – like traffic lights, and power stations – are being connected to the intertubes and not in a good way.

There’s an article in this week’s CNNMoney about a search engine called Shodan which finds these devices and tells you all about them:

“Shodan runs 24/7 and collects information on about 500 million connected devices and services each month.

It’s stunning what can be found with a simple search on Shodan. Countless traffic lights, security cameras, home automation devices and heating systems are connected to the Internet and easy to spot.

Shodan searchers have found control systems for a water park, a gas station, a hotel wine cooler and a crematorium. Cybersecurity researchers have even located command and control systems for nuclear power plants and a particle-accelerating cyclotron by using Shodan.”

Now the thing about this is a large quantity of these devices and control systems have no protection at all – not even password protection.

Watch the video, it’s a bit of a fright.

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