Culture

From Cars that Kill to Hijacking Your Treadmill

At a security conference this week, hackers showed they could shut down the brakes on a corvette. That’s far from the first auto-hacking story.  What makes this incident particularly noteworthy was that the hackers didn’t go after the uber-cool 2015 corvette. No, they hacked a 2013 model.

The greatest cyber threats we may face in our everyday lives is “old” tech. Engineers race to patch problems with the latest software.  Recently, Chrysler announced an unprecedented cyber-recall of new Jeeps.  But, most of us common folks don’t buy new tech every year.

Online Trust Alliance, a non-profit advocacy group, recently warned “devices that may have been secure off the shelf will become more susceptible to hacking over time allowing hackers to remotely control these devices.” Well, that’s unnerving because increasingly manufactures are hooking everything up to the World Wide Web from baby monitors to home security systems. All these will be at risk. Even innocuous tech like fitness equipment could be hacked to “spy on health vitals.”

The Trust wants to set up rules for “manufacturers, developers and retailers” for better cyber practices. But, this is not just an industry problem.  Nor is it all government’s responsibility. Safe tech is not a human right.

Further, the greatest tech threat is us. For example, more pedestrians are being run over than ever.  The reason? Distracted driving and walking. Texting kills.

Acting responsibly in how we use tech is the real first line of defense.

On the old frontier, Americans survived storms, wolves, famine and wildfires by taking personal responsibility for their lives. If modern Americans want to survive maybe they need to start taking personal responsibility for their tech.