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August 11, 2015

drones[1]How connected are you to the Internet? Smart phone? Home appliances? Security network and environment control systems? What about your car?

A Texas-based company known as Praetorian conducted a hacking test of devices connected to the Internet through what is known as “The Internet of Things” (IoT) by flying a specially-equipped drone over Austin, Texas in search of such devices. The project — called the “Internet of Things Map Project” — located over 1600 devices sharing the same wireless protocol called ZigBee.

The researchers found that the vulnerabilities within the network of devices sharing the same protocol gave them access to such things as household appliances, motion sensors, temperature controls, door locks and even light bulbs, just to name a few.

For a better understanding of the scope behind this threat, consider that 2014 became the benchmark year for GM’s push for Internet enabled vehicles beginning with their 2015 line.

Dan Akerson, General Motor’s top executive, is pushing for a new generation of networked vehicles for his grandchildren. “I have grandchildren that have only grown up in a world with smartphones,” he says.

“The Internet is about to hit the open road. A new fleet of online-connected automobiles set to debut this summer are aiming to make using web services a more seamless part of the driving experience,” reported TIME magazine on January 7, 2014 in an article, “Your Car is About to Get Smarter than You Are.” “These new vehicles will make it easier to listen to Internet radio, get social media updates and download car fixes.”

Using 4G LTE technology, TIME reports “the cars will be able to connect to the Internet independently and utilize custom-made apps all on their own.”

It is estimated by the IHS Automotive research firm that “by 2022, more than 82 million cars globally will be connected to the Web – triple the number today.”

“Cars are really just an example of issues arising from the Internet of Things, where more and more objects are being connected,” says Kurt Opsahl, deputy executive director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Read more …


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