5 unbelievable things that can get hacked!

$450 billion was what hacking cost the world in 2016. When ransomware WannaCry struck computers across 150 countries worldwide, it resulted in losses worth $4 billion. Hacking can turn even the most innocuous device into a ticking bomb. One that spells doom and can result in the most unexpected disasters. And you were naïve enough to think that it’s only your phone, laptop or computer that is vulnerable to hacking? Then this list of the 5 most unusual things/entities that can face the wrath of hackers is a must read for you.

1. Commercial Planes

Do you suffer from flight phobia or aviophobia? Then this is probably the last thing that you would want to hear! A recent test done on a parked commercial jetliner by a team of cyber experts from the Department of Homeland Security has revealed that it may indeed be possible for hackers to hack into the avionics of an airplane. Ruben Santamarta, a revered cyber security expert from IOActive has confirmed that it is possible to use a commercial jet’s WiFi and in-flight entertainment systems to hack its satellite communications equipment. Though aviation experts still are in two minds about this, network and cyber security experts know what they are talking about when they say that hacking a plane’s avionics equipment is not a cakewalk but very much possible and that it can be used to impact the plane’s safety systems and navigation.

2. A Nuclear Power Plant

A nuclear power plant is supposed to be one of the most protected entities of the government. So how can they be hacked? Well, it seems they can! A team of hackers has revealed that certain wireless devices used in nuclear power plants are vulnerable to hacking within 40 miles of the plant!!! This makes it possible for hackers to use radio transceivers to tamper the data on such devices and literally take control of the plant operations. In fact, Scott Lunsford, an IBM Internet Security Researcher, actually managed to hack into the systems of an American Nuclear Power Station and had the reigns of the entire plant within a week! Amidst all controversies, however, the fact remains that though it is possible to hack their personal, administrative and other non-essential files, controlling the significant functions of a nuclear power plant through hacking is still quite unimaginable. However, the internet is just building its immune system and a cyber criminal’s mind is getting more sinister by the day. So, the condition of hackers controlling a nuclear power plant’s operations and safety systems may actually be a reality in the years to come!

3. Medical Devices

Do you use a pacemaker or know someone using it? Well, we have news! Medical devices/implants connected to wireless networks such as pacemakers, insulin pumps etc. can be easily hacked and it could even make your heart stop beating! Missed a beat already didn’t you? Ethical hacker and cyber security expert, Late Barnaby Jack, had found out a way in which an implanted insulin pump could be hacked and made to deliver 45 days’ worth of insulin in one shot! And there are more, devices such as implanted defibrillator if hacked can be remotely shut off by hackers to leave a person to die or cause other serious fatalities. The Internet of Things (IoT) is slowly taking over the healthcare segment and while that’s something for us to cheer about, it has its own implications as you may have judged well by now!

4. Your Car

Make sure you aren’t in a car while reading this! In case you are not already aware then let us break this news to you that car hacking is trending in the deep, dark world of hackers! Most of the modern day cars are fitted with about 50 electronic control units which make such cars an easy bait for hackers. Not all but some such cars have legitimate flaws that enable hackers to gain control of the vehicle and about a dozen of its functions while it’s still in motion! It could be a sudden brake fail or an unexpected jerking of the steering wheel or the display going berserk. And no, we are not kidding! Security Researcher at Twitter, Charlie Miller, and Director of Security Intelligence at IOActive, Chris Valasek, have indeed demonstrated these heart-wrenching deeds with a Forbes reporter behind the wheels! In fact, hackers can even erase the malicious software that could cause a car to crash, thus leaving behind zero evidence of any tampering. Technology experts predict that car hacking could turn into a split venture in the future where hackers could sell their services to car thieves!

5. Smart TVs

So you were considering exchanging your current television for a Smart TV which has as many features as a laptop or a smartphone? Well, think again! Smart TVs are still in their formative years and thus have limited inbuilt security features rendering them vulnerable to hackers. Recently, Samsung came under the scanner after it was revealed that their smart TV’s Facebook app could be tampered to spy on the surroundings! Even Roku, a video streaming platform, that is featured on TVs made by Hitachi, Philips, TCL, Hisense, and Sharp has been found to be extremely vulnerable to hacking. The vulnerability of smart TVs shouldn’t be surprising as most have serious privacy issues since companies often use them to monitor what you watch. Hackers can infect the mobile or computer connected to the same WiFi as your TV to get through to your smart TV. This can enable them to change the channels, fluctuate the volume and even play arbitrary YouTube videos! Sounds like a spooky scene from a horror movie, isn’t it? Furthermore, your own TV could be used as a medium to launch a cyber attack on other devices in the home network.

Incognito Forensic Foundation (IFF Lab) – Your Cyber Security Partner

With each day bringing forth some or the other new technological innovation, keeping all such networked devices ‘cyber safe’ is a far cry from the reality. While it is true that cyber security measures have also seen a significant evolution over time, one cannot neglect the fact that a cyber criminal’s ingenuity is also getting more devious by the day! That is where IFF Lab comes into the picture. With an extensive pool of digital and cyber forensic experts and the experience of assisting various organizations with their digital security, IFF Lab is currently the pioneer in the field of digital and cyber forensics. Their holistic approach to addressing vulnerability through a methodological analysis of the actions of competitive organizations helps them identify potential cyber threats. Be “cyber safe” with IFF Lab’s Solutions for Cyber Security Analysis and Assessment.

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