Other issues in this category (13)
Monday, November 18, 2019
Not so long ago, in the issue Of people and kettles, we wrote about threats posed by smart kitchen appliances, and now it turns out that other IoT devices can be dangerous too. And apparently nothing is scarier than a smart toilet.
The security report published by nCipher suggests that:
- 60% of IT professionals rate altering the function of a device as the top IoT threat.
- 54% believe that attackers can seize control over IoT devices.
- 36% regard espionage via Internet-connected devices as a credible threat.
- 24% are concerned about data leaks.
- 36% view money theft as a severe danger.
- 21% believe that cyber prankers can hack into their Internet-connected toilets.
We already talked about bathroom threats, so here is just a quick reminder:
I received several screenshots of a video showing a girl using a public bathroom. The video was recorded with two cameras, one opposite the toilet and one under the rim.
Seoul authorities assigned 8,000 employees to inspect public toilets for hidden cameras. Women can’t feel safe not only walking the streets but also in public restrooms and at the beach. In a country that ranks first in the use of gadgets, cameras are built not only into smart phones but also into pens, flash drives and even water bottles. Purchasing a spying device of this kind presents no problem whatsoever.
And those are ordinary public facilities. But how can perpetrators take advantage of "smart" toilets? A quick Google search tells us that these devices can play music, turn on backlighting, and warm up feet and water. It is hard to say how one could abuse these features, without examining a device like that (although it's clear that no computer is required to operate most of those functions), but in theory an attacker can flip up the bowl's lid, heat the water a little bit too much or play an arbitrary audio file. On the other hand, gaining access to these conveniences may not be so easy after all.
Any attacker can make the toilet lid open and close, toggle on the air-dry function or flush the toilet repeatedly.
But to accomplish this, one must sneak closer to the toilet because the Bluetooth range normally doesn't exceed 32 feet.
Meanwhile, there exist even more sophisticated toilets with built-in floor scales, and devices that measure and monitor blood sugar and blood pressure and conduct urine tests. Of course, they can also access the Internet and help the owners of these toilets get in touch with their doctors. And those open up further possibilities for manipulation. But because of their exorbitant prices, these devices are unlikely to become widespread, which in turn means that they probably won't become popular targets for hackers.
The Anti-virus Times recommends
Which smart devices do you consider to be the most dangerous?
- A refrigerator that can order food (who can tell what the fridge could request!)
- Smart cooking appliances (that can burn down the entire house or partner with the fridge to poison our family!).
- A smart door lock (that can open the door for an attacker).
- Other (please, specify)
When answering the question, please elaborate on which feature of the smart device you regard as the most hazardous.