11 Ways the Internet of Things Is Going to Ruin Your Day
On October 21, 2016 a cyberattack used Internet of Things devices – web-connected lightbulbs, appliances, cameras, and more – to cause a massive internet outage, knocking sites like Netflix, Airbnb, and Github offline for hours.
But that’s just the start – check out the mishaps, dangers, and disasters you can expect from our IoT future.
The world cooed when they learned the tale of six-year-old Brooke Neitzel earlier this month. The Dallas girl’s innocent conversation with an Amazon Echo Dot led to the delivery of a $170 dollhouse and four pounds of sugar cookies to the family’s home a few days later.
But that was hardly the end of the story. When San Diego’s CW6 News covered the too-cute cautionary tale, anchor Jim Patton opined, “I love the little girl, saying ‘Alexa ordered me a doll house.” And that simple phrase unwittingly ordered doll houses for reportedly hundreds of viewers with Echo devices.
It’s not all innocent fun. An Arkansas prosecutor is demanding Amazon turn over the voice data from a murder suspect’s Echo device. Thus far, the company has not complied.
In October 2016, the world was gripped by the terrifying saga of Mark Rittman, a data specialist who spent 11 hours waiting for his wifi-enabled tea kettle to boil water. Unfortunately that was not the end of Rittman’s tech woes…
Y2K: Part 2
On December 30, a software glitch in Sonos speakers resulted in many users finding themselves unable to turn off their alarms. The trouble – which wasn’t resolved for more than 24 hours – was reportedly caused by “a bug in how some Sonos players interpret leap year dates.” But don’t worry, the company reports “After the 1st of January, we expect all alarms will resume their normal behavior.”
The Roomba Is Watching
An excellent question, courtesy Jonathan Wight.
Last year, Buzzfeed reported on two talking dolls, My Friend Cayla and I-Que Intelligent Robot, that “collect personal information from children and send it to a software company that contracts with military and intelligence agencies, according to a complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday.” Both toys are still on sale.
We’ve Got Your Capitalist Dystopia Right Here
Via Reddit comes this terrifying vision of the future.
Even refrigerators need to be updated, apparently.
As well as stoves.
Typically described as “the scariest search engine on the internet”, Shodan allows users to search for unsecured web cameras, as well as traffic light servers, and even command and control systems for nuclear power plants.
Recently, researchers used a drone to infect Philips Hue light bulbs with a virus that allowed them to turn the lights on and off. The report states, “The attack can start by plugging in a single infected bulb anywhere in the city, and then catastrophically spread everywhere within minutes, enabling the attacker to turn all the city lights on or off, permanently brick them, or exploit them in a massive DDOS attack.”
The trouble with IoT has only just begun – if you want to track the latest in our tech hellscape, be sure to check out the Twitter account Internet of Shit, which follows these stories.
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