I should write a book. “It’ll never happen, and fifty other blatant lies told to idiots”.
Many of you will, these days, be using technology that you wouldn’t have believed could have existed a few years ago. From a flat computer that you twiddle with your fingers to a black, smooth-edged communications device that carries the internet wherever you go, to… little cameras that film everything in HD and let you watch over your homes from anywhere on the planet.
Well, all those things were made by the lowest bidder. And often, that lowest bidder has coders that don’t know how underpants work and definitely have trouble tying their shoes…and probably wiping their backsides.
I’m talking about one of those godawful buzzwords that eventually become meaningless long before the technology becomes just another of those things that used to be impossible but are now commonplace, IoT cameras.
IoT is “Internet of Things” — computers that connect to the internet that are small enough to wear (and often are, I’m looking at you, GoPro) — and IoT basically means that millions (if not billions) of devices will be hooked up to the internet in the next few years, from fridges to jackets to… security cameras.
And with new devices on the internet, comes new ways for bad guys to fuck you over.
Times were it would take a sweaty nerd days in a darkened room to crack into computers half a world away through analogue exchanges. These days, script kiddies can email out viruses to idiots who click on links and have hundreds of thousands of computers listening to their every command, making bank off Russian mobsters as they run interference for wire scams. Automated bots can send out metric assloads of infiltration attempts whilst the people behind it all sip lattes in some overpriced internet cafe.
The result is that you can hook up a brand spanking new IP camera to the internet, and have it compromised in under two minutes, and trying itself to crack into anything and everything else seconds later.
Oh, and don’t think you can fix that by setting it up on your own network first, these cameras (and everything else) often have hardcoded credentials. And open telnet ports. And they absolutely cannot be changed.
Firewall your gear, people, everything. Firewall all vectors you can’t control off from everything else whilst you’re at it, because until this technology matures (and if the indian offshore rental brigade has anything to do with it, it never will) you and everything you own is at risk of not only being a digital Typhoid Mary, but being the reason you got burgled when you weren’t home.
Remember when we used to tell people we weren’t home by turning on our answering machines? Yeah, that didn’t end well. So why are you letting them ogle what stuff you own as well, now?