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Hacking vulnerabilities with the Internet of Things: Risks and security loopholes

The Internet of Things opens up a world of possibilities for our connected lives. But what if a hacker could gain control of the things that mean the most to us. Here we investigate some possible hacking scenarios that could just happen.
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By Eileen Brown, Contributor on
Hacking vulnerabilities with the Internet of Things: Risks and security loopholes ZDNet
1 of 7 Qmed

Remote childcare by teddy

Smart teddies and "guardian" teddies use sensors to monitor the health of your child and send information to your smartphone. Talking teddies can soothe your child when you are out of the room, or remotely monitor your child when they sleep. If hackers gained control of the teddy's voice commands or hacked into the camera they could change the voice commands or watch your child in his room.

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Hacking vulnerabilities with the Internet of Things: Risks and security loopholes ZDNet
2 of 7 Fitbit

Shareable fitness data

On Netflix hack day 2014, programmers created a hack which paused Netflix if you fell asleep. Sensors on your Fitbit notify the web service that you have dozed off and the film pauses. Whilst this is a really useful hack to ensure that you never miss a film again it opens up the potential for other hacks. Your fitness tracker could be hacked to send data about your calories used or your exercise levels to your health insurer.

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Hacking vulnerabilities with the Internet of Things: Risks and security loopholes ZDNet
3 of 7 Jeep

Remotely controlled cars

Jeep Cherokee 2014 models are filled with state of the art electronics and functionality. Unfortunately these sophisticated components in the car could make it more likely to be hacked. If an attacker gains control of the wifi enabled radio they could communicate with other components in the vehicle such as the cruise control, braking or engine management system.

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Hacking vulnerabilities with the Internet of Things: Risks and security loopholes ZDNet
4 of 7 August

Easy access doors

With smart doors such as this model from August the door will sense your approach and automatically unlocks your door for you, without having to reach for your key. The technology will automatically lock your door behind you when you go out. Your smartphone will control who is allowed access to your house removing worry. If your smartphone is stolen, or compromised by a hacker – or your web service is hacked then potentially anyone could be given access to your home.

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Hacking vulnerabilities with the Internet of Things: Risks and security loopholes ZDNet
5 of 7 Elertus

Watchful fridge

Fridge sensors can intelligently monitor the temperature, humidity and door status of your fridge and send it to your smartphone. It can also detect movement and light activity in your fridge. Now imagine that your doctor has put you on a strict diet for your health. You go to the fridge for a snack and the hacked sensor notifies your health insurance that you are failing to follow doctors orders. Your premiums skyrocket -- or are cancelled completely.

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Hacking vulnerabilities with the Internet of Things: Risks and security loopholes ZDNet
6 of 7 Nest

Home control

Imagine a really cold day. You and the rest of the region is gripped by a really cold spell. You try to remotely turn up your thermostat for when you get home. It does not work. You then receive an email demanding $1000 to give you back control of your own thermostat at home. Your home automation or home heating has been hacked.

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Hacking vulnerabilities with the Internet of Things: Risks and security loopholes ZDNet
7 of 7 Emf Testing

Diabetes control

Insulin pumps use telemetry to pass information about glucose levels and pass the data to the insulin pump. Wireless telemetry eliminates the need for wires and is more convenient for the wearer. If the wireless signals could be hacked and hijacked between the insulin pump and the glucose monitor, incorrect dosage of diabetes drugs could potentially be delivered.

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