You might want to stop and think twice before buying that shiny new smart watch, smart TV, or other smart what-not that uses the web to operate — devices that comprise the Internet of Things. According to this week’s report from the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, the Chinese government is hellbent on exploiting the Internet of Things to spy on every aspect of our lives — including the most intimate ones.
According to Gartner, the Connecticut-based global consulting giant, there are more smart gizmos connected to the Internet than people in the world. By 2020, the total population of Internet of Things devices will swell to 20.4 billion.
Because Internet-connected devices operate via the web — everything from pacemakers and baby monitors to smart toys and automobiles — they can be readily hacked. In a now-famous demonstration in St. Louis, Mo., security gurus Charles Miller and Chris Valasek took over a Jeep Cherokee driven by Andy Greenberg, a senior writer for Wired magazine. “Immediately my accelerator stopped working,” Greenberg recounts. “As I frantically pressed the pedal and watched the RPMs climb, the Jeep lost half its speed, then slowed to a crawl. This occurred just as I reached a long overpass, with no shoulder to offer an escape. The experiment had ceased to be fun.” read more