[Swiftwater Gazette] ransom ware targeting you

Ed kroposki kroposki at att.net
Fri Dec 29 08:39:16 EST 2017

Ransomware targeting smart speakers and the devices they supportcould be another avenue of exploitation for hackers to pursue; one canimagine hackers demanding bitcoin payments in exchange for turning airconditioners back on during the summer, among many other potential hacks. The dramatic rise invalue of digital currencies also increases the attractiveness to hackers ofhijacking processing power from internet of things devices to quietly minecurrencies, an increasingly common cybercrime. The creativity ofcriminal hackers will likely lead to other novel forms of exploitation in 2018.  Guardingagainst exploitation will mean using household smart devices responsibly. This involves alwayschange the password on these devices from the factory default, since manymanufacturers use the same password for all new devices. Users should also monitor the media for newly discovered vulnerabilities, updatingsoftware patches on household devices when they become available. In short, if your dishwashercan communicate with Alexa or another device, you have to now treat yourdishwasher like you would your smartphone: as a device connecting you and yourhome to the rest of the world that increases convenience, but alsovulnerabilities.

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