Smart & Unsafe

Control over all aspects of human life is significantly and largely broaden due to the computer technologies development. It is simply enough to just have a smartphone with an internet access.  Let’s look at health apps. By acquiring this or that application and entering your personal data, the person gets an access to all needed information in regards to medicaments. It also provides person with opportunity to open chat with a doctor in online regime, to create medical electronic card, to manage health diaries and so on. But is it really safe?

According to Privacy Rights Clearinghouse dealing with protection of consumers’ rights and opportunities, there’s a risk of personal immunity for users after they have examined 43 health apps. Users downloaded applications without thinking about the ones who could possibly use their contact details in order to pass them to the third parties. Furthermore, it is as easy as ABC for some hacker to trespass a device.

Let’s get down to one case:

Symantec security engineer Candid Wueest was able to hack the latest Android version installed on SMART TV. Hacked device appeared to be completely “helpless”: it was impossible to drop off the settings, contact support team or make any other manipulations. Besides that, if this TV was connected to any other electronical devices through WI-FI connection, hacker would easily manipulate them as well.

There was another famous scandal on the matter. One of software users discovered while LG company officially recognized the fact that they used Smart TVs to collect data in order to create and show target ads (all text and media advertisements being shown only to those network users who are suitable for exact requirements chosen by advertiser)

What about smart watches? Not really much better. Researches from Stevens’ Technology Institute used accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer to calculate the distance between key buttons and hand motion for different combinations, and then they scrolled this algorithm backwards in order to get to know the most used codes. As a result researches were able to decode around 5000 combinations with 99% of probability during a test.

It doesn’t necessarily mean that we are completely helpless when it comes to hacker attacks. One of the decisions is  offered by British specialists from Lancaster and Manchester Unis. If we equip each device with nano chip of atom size then each device authentication will get specific “constructive inefficiencies” unique for each component and which are impossible to copy because otherwise it would take the measurement of every atom.

Another decision is silicon chips with specific characteristics and “signature” which can be read only after passing this chip through electricity. It is actually very effective way because while it is easy to compare smartphone digital key as described above, the silicon chip with its unique code will be visible only after switching on the current.

To sum up, “leakage” of personal data is quite unpleasant issue and comes out as one of the biggest preoccupations. By getting access to things like smart house system, malefactor also gets control of the whole engineering system and here we are not talking about technical systems but about a human life.

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