The Hacking of Advanced Technology in Our Homes and Businesses

SourcetekIT
Apr 30 · 3 min read

We are constantly welcoming advanced technology into our homes and businesses. Whether their purpose is to boost productivity or purely for entertainment, we often don’t think twice about the dangers they could pose. However, the list of incidences where our beloved tech devices have been hacked is growing daily. Below, we list a few interesting cases that show the dangers of technology. SourcetekIT’s SOC is a deterrent to breaches such as these.

Target

Though many organizations are hacked due to their own poor cybersecurity practices, this story shows that the cybersecurity practices of affiliated businesses can also pose a major threat. In November 2013, hackers infiltrated Target’s network by stealing credentials from a third party HVAC company, Fazio Mechanical Services. Hackers were able to gain access to the HVAC company’s network through a phishing attack, which led them to Target. Once in Target’s network, hackers installed malware on the point of sale devices across numerous stores. From here they were able to copy data from credit cards.

Alexa and Other Voice Assistants

Virtual digital assistants became a popular in 2017, with Amazon Echo (AKA Alexa) and Google Home dominating the market. Families around the world purchased their new toy with no thought to the threats they were welcoming into their homes. However, reports of strange activity were not far behind. One story in particular made headlines when a family reported their conversation being recorded and sent to a contact in their phone. Luckily, this was the result of a software flaw, which Amazon quickly tended to. However, this still doesn’t mean Alexa owners are safe. Software company, Checkmarx, found a way to hack Alexa and record conversations. Again, the software flaws were tended to, but with hackers developing more aggressive tactics daily, users should still be concerned for their privacy.

Most recently, Bloomberg released a report exposing Amazon’s practice of listening and recording sound from the homes of Alexa owners. These recordings are used to help develop better commands and responses. Alexa owners can opt out of this, though this does not mean Amazon can guarantee they won’t be listened to. Although this is not a hack per say, many owners are unaware of the lack of privacy they truly have while in the presence of a virtual digital assistant. For those that have held onto their virtual digital assistants, WIRED breaks down the steps for increasing privacy.

Tesla Car Hacks

Self driving cars are a futuristic innovation many never thought they would see in their lifetime. However, hackers have quickly highlighted the trouble these pieces of high-tech can bring to owners. Though many hackers have addressed Tesla’s electronic weaknesses, it was not until 2016 that a hack was successful from a remote location. This hack was completed by security research team, Keen Labs, who found multiple vulnerabilities in the software, allowing them to take control of the brakes. Fast forward to 2019, Keen Labs yet again was able to hack a Tesla vehicle and create a “fake lane”, sending Tesla into opposing lanes. This hack has deadly consequences for owners of self driving cars.

US Military Spy Drone

Home appliances aren’t the only pieces of technology we need to be worried about. This case shows us that even our own government is not safe from cyber criminals. In 2018, a US Military drone used for unmanned surveillance was hacked through insecure routers. The hacker was able to access sensitive documents which they then posted for sale on the dark web. Internet technology company, Recorded Future, states the documents found by this hack could be used “to assess technical capabilities and weaknesses in one of the most technologically advanced aircrafts…”

So what does the hacking of technology tell us? We are more vulnerable than ever before. But this does not mean we should abandon any piece of innovative technology. Instead, businesses must make cyber security a priority. At SourcetekIT, we care about keeping your data secure so it does not become your greatest challenge. As the only government certified SOC in Canada, SourcetekIT’s SOC can be your organization’s most valuable asset .

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SourcetekIT’s SOC is the only Government certified SOC in Canada! We specialize in all things cybersecurity.