Noah J Nelson on Friday, Jan. 10th
Computer security expert Bruce Schneier identifies the biggest threat to the dawning "Internet of Things," the humble router:
[The] Internet of Things will only make this problem worse, as the Internet — as well as our homes and bodies — becomes flooded with new embedded devices that will be equally poorly maintained and unpatchable. But routers and modems pose a particular problem, because they’re: (1) between users and the Internet, so turning them off is increasingly not an option; (2) more powerful and more general in function than other embedded devices; (3) the one 24/7 computing device in the house, and are a natural place for lots of new features.
In an opinion piece published at Wired Schneier notes that we've face this kind of problem before. In the 1990's personal computers were a playground for hackers. That era will look like a Golden Age, if Schneier's fears are realized.
The scale is different today: more devices, more vulnerability, viruses spreading faster on the Internet, and less technical expertise on both the vendor and the user sides. Plus vulnerabilities that are impossible to patch.
Read the whole piece with a bottle of antacid close to hand.