Scam of the day – November 3, 2017 – New developments in the Internet of Things

I have been warning you about dangers in the rapidly expanding Internet of things for more than three years.  The Internet of Things is made up of a broad range of devices connected to the Internet including home thermostats, security systems, medical devices, refrigerators, televisions, cars and toys.

Recently the FBI issued a  new warning to consumers about the dangers of posed by hacking of various devices that makeup the Internet of Things.

Here is a link to the FBI warning.  https://www.ic3.gov/media/2017/171017-1.aspxGPS.

Recently, Italian researcher Giovanni Mellini published his findings that he was able to remotely hack into and take control of a sex toy described by its manufacturer as “the world’s first teledildonic butt plug.”  There has been a trend in recent years in the sex toy industry to creating sex toys that can connect to smartphones and computers through Bluetooth or Wifi technology that enables the sex toy to be controlled remotely.  While this opens up new vistas for consenting adults far away from each other, it also opens up frightening new opportunities for hackers.

TIPS

Many of the devices that make up the Internet of Things come with preset passwords that can easily be discovered by hackers.  Change your password as soon as you set up the product.  Also, set up a guest network on your router exclusively for your Internet of Things devices.  Configure network firewalls to block traffic from unauthorized IP addresses and disable port forwarding.  Make sure that you install the latest security patches as soon as they become available.  Use encryption software for the transmission of data and find out where data is stored and what steps are taken to secure the information.  Also, limit the amount of information you provide when setting up the accounts for the toys.  The less information out there, the less the risk of identity theft.  Finally make sure your router is secure and use its whitelisting capabilities which will prevent your device from connecting to malicious networks.

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