EUROPOL, the collection of national law enforcement efforts, has warned that the internet or the Internet of Things (IoT) will be used to murder someone this year.
Yes, it is time to be terrified. Your internet-enabled fridge may be planning to order some peanuts and add them to your sandwiches. Too bad if you are allergic to that sort of thing.
Your WiFi scarf, if such a thing exists, is probably planning to strangle you, and your wearable smartwatch is perhaps working out how it can turn your own hand against you.
We can't be sure currently. Europol talks of an ‘online murder' which could refer to any one of thousands of cover versions on YouTube.
"The Internet of Everything (IoE) represents a whole new attack vector that we believe criminals will already be looking for ways to exploit," said Europol in its threat assessment. "The IoE is inevitable. We must expect a rapidly growing number of devices to be rendered ‘smart' and thence to become interconnected."
"With more objects being connected to the internet and the creation of new types of critical infrastructure, we can expect to see [more] targeted attacks on existing and emerging infrastructures, including new forms of blackmailing and extortion schemes (e.g. ransomware for smart cars or smart homes), data theft, physical injury and possible death and new types of botnets."
"Possible death" is the new danger here, and Europol's watch concerns (it has many others), are traced back to a report from US security firm IID which warned of a digital death last year.
Then IID said: "We will witness the first ever public case of murder via hacked internet-connected devices," and added that this could take the form of a hacked pace-maker or motorcar. µ
Stop us if you've heard this one before...
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