Don’t panic, but the Internet of Things might murder you

Just when you thought your Law and Order binge-watching habit had prepared you for every possible eventuality, along comes a new way to die to worry about. (Happy Monday!)

A US security firm called IID predicts that hackers will commit the first murder via the Internet of Things by the end of the year. And as Co Exist reports, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, Europol, has included it in a new report about cybercrime’s threats to our personal safety. As our TVs become connected to our fridges and our watches become connected to our phones and Fitbits, there are more vulnerabilities in internet security for criminals to exploit. And the report concludes that our health could be at risk.

It’s a bit of a (conspiracy theory-filled) leap to murder, but there are certainly some potential dangers. We all know how insecure info in the cloud can be, so hacking attempts to steal people’s medical identities could become commonplace, especially for high-profile figures. Phishing emails will probably increasingly claim to come from your fitness tracking device, and who knows? The plot of Homeland could possibly become a reality.

After watching the show’s fictional Vice President suffer death by jammed pacemaker signal, ex-VP Dick Cheney apparently ditched his defibrillator for fear of facing something similar. The FDA has warned that pacemakers, implantable insulin pumps, and defibrillators could be open to hacking. And Europol believes that smart cars and homes could be held to ransom or programmed to work against us.

It’s scary to think about someone being driven off the road via their internet connection, but I guess all we can do is hope IoT manufacturers are working to improve their security, and in the meantime, keep anything that could be hacked and used as a murder weapon as dumb and unconnected as possible.

Image via EnergieAgentur.NRW’s Flickr.

Want to read more? If you’re looking to buy a wearable or activity tracker, we’ve found the best wearables to keep you safe, but, if they’re too expensive, here are the best budget wearables and activity trackers for under £70.

If you’re not bothered by wearables at all, but still want help with keeping fit, check out our feature on 10 kitchen gadgets, tools and utensils for healthy living.

Diane Shipley

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