Experts warn of ‘dystopian future’ if IoT is left unsecured

We’ve long been warned by skeptics about the dangers of letting technology get out of control, but now experts are seriously warning that we are headed for a ‘dystopian future’.

Okay, so that’s a bit dramatic, but new research from the Cyber Security Research Institute for the new F-Secure sponsored report entitled Internet of Things: Pinning down the IoT warns that the Internet of Things represents a considerable threat to consumers due to inadequate regulations regarding security and privacy.

Pointing out the fact that the number of connected devices now likely exceeds the human population of Earth, millions of connected devices have already been compromised by the Mirai botnet. The report also says that many consumers aren’t aware of inherent risks of their connected devices and that manufacturers often rush products to market without considering basic security requirements and settings.

“This situation could create an even more frightening scenario than the UK tabloid newspapers’ ‘phone hacking’ scandal, due to a massive adoption of insecure IoT devices,” the report states.

Most consumers are aware that their devices are connected to the internet, but many are not conscious of all the data being collected on them.

“Eventually almost every household device will be online, and they will largely be invisible to the end user as a smart device,” Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer of F-Secure, said. “They will look like dumb devices, but they will be smart devices though they won’t offer any features to the consumer because the real reason for them to be online will be for them to report home and report analytics to the company that built the device.”

Michael Barton, the chief constable of Durham Constabulary said that there should be some oversight from the government. “There needs to be regulation but I’m fighting shy of heavy regulation here. You can’t sell toys with pins in them so that children are blinded. You can’t sell cars where the brakes work intermittently. Nor should you be able to sell something on the IoT that allows people’s bank accounts to be emptied.”

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