When you bring thousands of hackers together, it is likely to be a recipe for terror.
As two major hacking events, Black Hat and DEF CON, commence this week in Las Vegas, hackers will unveil some new security flaws in our everyday technology, even internal technology. Pacemakers, specifically.
“Psh,” you may be thinking, “There’s no way that they can do that.” Before he passed away last week, infamous hacker Barnaby Jack was scheduled to give a speech about security fallacies in exactly that technology.
See below for some of the frightening hacks participants will be doing at the conventions.
1. Surprise! SnapChat not secure
The rise in popularity of so-called “self-destructing” messaging apps, such as SnapChat and Facebook Poke, has Drea London and Kyle O'Meara questioning whether a hacker could get these messages. These companies claim that such messages are erased as soon as read -- not so, London and O'Meara argue that it can still be recovered. Or better yet, the duo says that messages can be retrieved before, after or during transmission.
2. Lo-Tech locks get high-tech hacks
Some high-tech locks utilizing Bluetooth and Wi-Fi have made their way into markets today, and they're easily hackable. So most people would still feel safe having an old-fashioned lock and key, right? Wrong! A group of MIT students are showing software that can create a model using a 3D printer, when you’re given the serial number of a particular key.
3. Industrial facilities hacked from 40 miles away
Usage of Wi-Fi has become ubiquitous in our connected world. In various industries, wireless sensor networks allow for the monitoring and controlling of environmental conditions, such as temperature, sound or pressure. Lucas Apa and Carlos Mario Penagos will demonstrate attacks that take advantage of key vulnerabilities. Using radio frequency transceivers within a 40-mile range of a facility, a user can hack and modify sensor measurements upon which critical decisions are made. This consequences can be very serious.
4. Hacked, Hollywood-style
As seen on numerous spy flicks and television shows, security cameras connected to the Internet are extremely vulnerable. However, when you consider that these cameras are deployed in thousands of public and private locations such as homes, hospitals and industrial facilities, it becomes less “James Bond” and more frightening. In a demonstration at Black Hat, hackers will demonstrate known vulnerabilities to “freeze and modify legitimate video streams from these cameras.”
5. Smart TVs used as surveillance devices
With over 80 million units sold in 2012, Smart TVs are no doubt becoming the new norm. However, like smartphones and computers, these high-tech glowing boxes are riddled with vulnerabilities, notes Seung Jin Lee. When one considers the fact that many of these televisions have cameras and microphones, it becomes increasingly frightening that so-called “bad guys” can spy remotely without you knowing.
6. Hacked cars
Most people don’t realize that the cars they drive have mini-computers on board that dictate everything from braking to even the gas meter. Unfortunately, what this means is hackers could attack your car remotely. As noted by Jason Staggs, it has become increasingly easy for attacks to be staged on your car, allowing for hackers to control critical parts of the vehicle.
7. Hacking Bionic People
In 2006, the FDA first approved fully wireless pacemakers. As a result, there are currently well over 3 million pacemakers and over 1.7 million Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators in use. Notorious hacker Barnaby Jack was scheduled to give a speech about security fallacies in these types of bionic technology. Even though he passed away last week, it is important that everyone listen to his findings.