Connecting more and more services and devices to the internet sets the stage for the smart cities of the future, but at the same time it creates dangerous new opportunities for cyber criminals.
1. DDOS – Distributed Denial of Service Attacks
Even without 6-figure zero-day exploits and nation-state resources, hackers can employ easily-attainable botnets powered by compromised IoT devices to launch massive overloading attacks called- DDoS on services causing outages which can harm not only their revenue, but their brand-value as a whole. This highlights issues with the speed of technological advances, mainly cheap IoT “smart” devices, which generally disregard security in favor of lower prices and more market share. Obviously this is a recipe for disaster, and thankfully the fact that hackers have already (expensively) demonstrated their weaknesses makes it easier to convince companies to step up their cyber security.
2. Critical infrastructure-targeting attacks
While these denial of service attacks can cause massive damage, imagine what a successful breach can do to our critical infrastructure. Developing technology like driverless cars have already shown to be remotely hijack-able (lookup 2014 Cherokee recall). Imagine hackers having complete control of your useful new smart gas/electricity meters, the temperature controls, lighting fixtures and suddenly IoT-everything doesn’t seem like such a good idea.
3.Unkowingly Vulnerable Technologies/Encryption
With all the recent news coming to light about NSA resource abuse, unauthorized tracking, china utilizing government backdoors etc., we might not even have to look farther than our own government for potential attack vectors. The documented proof of intentionally placed backdoors in security devices, and even the deliberate weakening of encryption technologies by government agencies could all eventually come back and bite us right where it hurts. The fact its already happened in currently employed systems should be a wake-up call for us, considering the vital nature of some of these emerging services and technologies. If we’ve learned anything from the in innumerable hacks, it’s that nothing is unhack-able and we must prepare for all possibilities keeping an especially vigilant eye on our most critical systems.