I was chatting to one of the other engineering managers at work the other day about the Internet of Things and while we were talking it struck me that with the proliferation of connected devices out there that connect to the internet, the difficulty of securing all of them would become quite a challenge. This would be especially true for the majority of people who have little idea of what constitutes good security practice.
I started to think about some of the practical japery that could be visited on unsuspecting members of the public should a hacker gain access to home networks full of smart devices. For example, imagine a smart fridge hacked so that it orders 400 pints of milk a day from the local supermarket delivery service or a toaster that will always burn your toast and then brag about it on Twitter. Perhaps your washing machine inexplicably shrinks all your clothes or your entertainment system will play nothing but Justin Bieber songs.
For the more discerning hacker, it could be more subtle than that. How about some malware loaded into a central heating system that repeatedly raises and lowers the temperature to make the occupants think they’re suffering from hot flushes or the TV keeps showing the same episode of ‘Lost’. It might be months before anyone even notices.