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Security Experts Warn Congress That the Internet of Things Could Kill People


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Prominent computer security experts in November warned the U.S. Congress that a poorly secured Internet of Things (IoT) could seriously threaten life and property. Harvard University fellow Bruce Schneier said the massive denial-of-service attack in October targeting Internet infrastructure provider Dyn, which relied on a botnet of hacked devices, demonstrated the "catastrophic risks" presented by the spread of insecure online appliances. Experts also said IoT insecurity is getting worse because device makers have no incentives to make security a priority, compounded by a lack of safety metrics.

University of Michigan professor Kevin Fu warned that the risk of serious consequences is escalating as IoT devices penetrate hospitals and other sensitive sectors, and millions of them can be easily compromised and formed into botnets that target institutions. Fu urged the U.S. government to develop an independent body tasked with testing IoT device security.

There is wide agreement that government must take action to address this threat, but several business groups have resisted the prospect of IoT regulation out of concern it could hamper innovation. Schneier recommended establishing a centralized agency to govern cybersecurity.

From Technology Review 
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Abstracts Copyright © 2016 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


 

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