[Swiftwater Gazette] How your DVR was hijacked to help epic cyberattack
kroposki at att.net
Sun Oct 23 07:03:36 EDT 2016
SATURDAY,OCTOBER 22, 2016DRVhijacked?
Howyour DVR was hijacked to help epic cyberattack
Excerpt:Technology experts warned for years that the millions ofInternet-connected "smart" devices we use every day areweak, easily hijacked and could be turned against us. (Scary! BecauseI’m very old fashioned, not quite Amish, in fact, I think the onlyconnectable device I have–other than my computer itself–is thecable modem and router that handles my landline, TV, and computer’sinternet. I’d hate to think those hunks of plastic and metal werecapable of being used for such a purpose, but how would I know forsure?
Theanswer, of course, is that I couldn’t.
Evenif it appears turned off, a camera can take images and transfer themelectronically. We know this because it is done regularly by bothhackers and law enforcement, each for their own purposes. If amachine that appears off can turn itself on and lie about it to us,which of us really controls the other? Some years ago I decided theTuring Test for determining when a machine was "alive"–thatit couldn’t be distinguished in conversation from a known livinghuman–was insufficient.
Theanswer I eventually came up with was "if a computer tells anuntruth for its own purposes, it’s alive."
Imay have to revise that. Fortunately, since my modem and routerconnect only to the cable coming into the house, I suppose I candisconnect the cable when I’m not using it. No, I can’t becausethen I’d have no landline phone. At least it can’t connect to the14 wireless networks available here since I know none of thepasswords. But, the machine is much faster than I am, and has lots oftime–suppose it began trying to "guess" one of thosepasswords. Any bets on whether any of them would allow "password"or "guest" or "incorrect" [as in your password isincorrect] to connect? Don’t be quite so anxious to get one ofthose fancy new refrigerators that can order groceries for you. Itmay someday take a bite out of you. Ron P.)
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