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November 1, 2016

Cartoon: The Internet of Ransomware Things from Joy of Tech

It was inevitable that somebody would find a way to put a funny spin on the security vulnerabilities of the Internet of Things and “smart devices”.  In this “Kitchen of the near future”, we can see how this might play out:

  1. The fridge tells you: “Pay up and I’ll unlock my door” –  Many smart fridges are already connected to the Internet to display the weather, and eventually order food it detects you are getting low on.
  2. The robot vacuum says: “Wire me $100 or I’ll reverse my motor and blow dirt all over this place” – You know this is coming soon.
  3. The garbage can says: “If you don’t send us cash, your reputation will be in the trash” – This is a placeholder for threat scenarios we haven’t thought of yet.
  4. The microwave oven says: “On strike until you send money to my hackers” – So much for microwaved Kraft dinner cups. My kids will be devastated.
  5. The coffee maker says: “$20 bucks or I’ll brew only decaf” – Somebody else will be devastated.
  6. The dishwasher says: “Your dirty dishes can wait. I’m mining bitcoins” – FYI – Bitcoins are the anonymous online currency used by many hackers to collect ransomware and payments for illicit transactions. They can be generated out of thin air, using lots of computers working together doing complex calculations
  7. The keys on the counter say: “I’ll start your car, but only to take you to your bank to make a transfer” – This is a little further off, but not unthinkable.
  8. The toaster says: “I’ll be burning toast until you get me some dough” – Quick and easy for most hackers, I imagine.
  9. The light fixture and webcam say: “Excuse us while we participate in a DDoS attack” – Wow. Deja vu…
  10. The door lock says: “Next time you leave it will cost you $100 bucks to get back into the house unless you give me $75 now” – Using vulnerable connected systems for security purposes is just plain silly. But people are doing it.
  11. The smoke detector says: “$30 bucks or next time I smell smoke, I might just let you sleep” – Guess what? Those crazy “B movie” plots are soon going to be all the rage.
  12. The alarm panel says: “My alarm system is going to go off randomly throughout the night unless you donate” – This could be more annoying even than pop-up ads in your browser…
  13. The thermostat says: “I’m turning off the heat until you warm up my bank account” – This is one I’ve been expecting for years now…
  14. The broom says: “Send me $25 or I’ll tell everyone on your social networks that you were stupid enough to buy an Internet connected broom” – Sadly, I’m not sure this one will make much of an impact any time soon. But then again, how about those Internet connected bathroom scales that post your daily weight on Twitter. Are people still buying them?

Anyway, these guys nailed it!




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