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Security researchers have demonstrated the ability to remotely take control of Internet-enabled cars. A fatal Io T disaster will similarly spur our government into action, and it's unlikely to be well-considered and thoughtful action.They've demonstrated ransomware against home thermostats and exposed vulnerabilities in implanted medical devices. In one recent paper, researchers showed how a vulnerability in smart light bulbs could be used to start a chain reaction, resulting in them all being controlled by the attackers — that's every one in a city. Our choice isn't between government involvement and no government involvement.These devices don't get security updates like our more expensive computers, and many don't even have a way to be patched.And, unlike our computers and phones, they stay around for years and decades.But a software bug that literally crashes your car is another thing altogether.The security vulnerabilities in the Internet of Things are deep and pervasive, and they won't get fixed if the market is left to sort it out for itself.The government could impose minimum security standards on Io T manufacturers, forcing them to make their devices secure even though their customers don't care.They could impose liabilities on manufacturers, allowing companies like Dyn to sue them if their devices are used in DDo S attacks.
The teams building these devices don't have the security expertise we've come to expect from the major computer and smartphone manufacturers, simply because the market won't stand for the additional costs that would require.
The Internet of Things is bringing computerization and connectivity to many tens of millions of devices worldwide.
These devices will affect every aspect of our lives, because they're things like cars, home appliances, thermostats, light bulbs, fitness trackers, medical devices, smart streetlights and sidewalk squares.
Late last month, popular websites like Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit and Pay Pal went down for most of a day.
The distributed denial-of-service attack that caused the outages, and the vulnerabilities that made the attack possible, was as much a failure of market and policy as it was of technology.