15 Things Vulnerable To HackingalexpFactTechnology0 Comments 0 CNN.com Internet-enabled devices are popping up in cars, home appliances, medical devices, and even children’s toys. With them, people are able to drive handsfree on the way to work, monitor the conditions of their home while on vacation, check in with their doctors about tests, and keep an eye on newborns as they sleep. While such connectedness brings convenience, it also makes us vulnerable to hacking. The next time you use a device that connects to the internet, you ought to remember that you might not be the only one logging in. As more and more companies and brands find new ways to connect everyday items to the Internet, an increasing number of hackers are discovering ways to exploit them. Besides privacy concerns, there are thousands of safety implications for the person whose just had a personal device hacked. There are many cases where hackers hold private files on people’s personal devices for ransom, traumatizing the victim. The fear of being hacked becomes all the scarier when you consider the likelihood of occurrence; recent research revealed that nearly three-quarters of all Internet-connected devices are susceptible to compromise. An awareness for what items in your possession are susceptible to a hack can make all the difference. To give you a greater understanding of the various items in your life that can expose you to an attack, here’s a list of 15 devices that are vulnerable to hacking. 15. TV gildshire.com Considering the endless warnings we get about our internet connected devices and how easily they can be hacked or used to watch us, this one shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Data dumps from WikiLeaks recently revealed that the CIA can get direct knowledge of the going-ons of our living rooms, all through our internet-connected televisions. But it’s not just our government that can gain access to our TV watch list; flaws found in Samsung’s smart television programs revealed hackers had the ability to access and turn on the built-in cameras of televisions from remote places. It might seem like another piece of technology hackers could be using to watch you, but think about the private conversations and activities you and your family might be having right in your family room you wouldn’t watch others watching. 14. MRI Scanners Image: The Royal Marsden Hacked medical devices are undoubtedly the greatest security threat to our health these days. A patient’s medical information can be worth 10 times as much as a credit card number to an eager hacker, according to Reuters. Stolen patient data can provide cybercriminals with all of the information they need to access a person’s information, including names, birth dates, billing information, and policy numbers, putting lives and data at risk. Hacked MRI scanners, in particular, can provide cybercriminals with remote administrative access to critical information so that they can harness information as specific as the floor number in which equipment or a patient is located. 13. X-Ray Machines The computers a hospital staff uses to retrieve a patient’s X-ray, for the most part, require authentication for access. The most secure ones are meant to safeguard against misuse and will also maintain a log of everyone who obtains access to them. Still, even the images and the patient information that’s attached to them, obtained by a hacker on these X-ray machines, is often backed up to storage units that don’t require authentication to access them. 12. CT Scanners wired.com CT scanners might not look like launchpads for hacking attacks but similar to the vulnerabilities of an X-Ray machine, these medical devices can do quite a bit of damage when taken over by a cyber criminal. A capable hacker can alter radiation exposure limits on the device and control the amount of radiation a patient receives which, in the worst case scenario, can end up doing deadly harm. 11. Pacemakers heartupdate.com If a former Vice President of the United States is ordering changes to his pacemaker to better protect it from hackers, maybe you should too. In 2013, Dick Cheney revealed that he modified his defibrillator in order to avoid attacks by terrorists willing to emit a lethal jolt of electricity to his device. This one’s a scenario plenty of Homeland fans might remember seeing play out effectively in season 2, but the drama of the fallout has very real-life implications. Mal-intended hackers like terrorists could target their victims by hacking into basic electronic implants like pacemakers. 10. Insulin Pumps medicalnewstoday.com Just a year ago, Johnson & Johnson warned its customers about a security bug detected in one of their insulin pumps. Though the risk was minimal, the company warned that a hacker could exploit the vulnerability and use it to intentionally overdose diabetic patients with insulin which could cause life-threatening situations such as hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. 9. The Thermostat gishub.com Coming home to a pre-heated house after a weekend away can in many ways be the ultimate luxury. “Smart home connectors” can allow you to control the conditions of your thermostat with an app also allowing you to save energy and reduce your energy bill. Still, Internet-connected home devices like the Nest Thermostat can leave your home vulnerable to hacking. Imagine the damage to your wallet that could ensue from a hacker who pumps up your heating while you’re away or, worse, turns it off in order to make your pipes burst. 8. Personal Computers blog.tailwindapp.com This one’s a no-brainer, but it’s an important one to keep on your reminder list, especially as you consider ways to protect yourself from hacks. According to the FBI, hack extortions that took place through personal computers cost American victims upwards of $18 million. Dodge the simplest of hacks by doing the two things you probably don’t do regularly: update your software and change your password. Updating your computer software when prompted can keep hackers from snaking their way through vulnerabilities in outdated programs and accessing private information on your computer. 7. Security X-Rays Medium.com Medical X-rays aren’t the only X-ray-using device that can be hacked and used to cause harm. In fact, a hacked X-ray scanner at an airport could help criminals slip weaponry past airport security. Manipulating an x-ray system to allow contraband items through TSA is as easy as getting access to a supervisor’s machine and a password. After this, an attacker only needs to superimpose an incriminating image onto the X-ray images of clean bags to disrupt passenger screening. 6. Internet Connected Toys pcmag.com Everyone could use a friend who’s a good listener, but even kids know better than to keep one who will share their secrets. A U.S. doll called My Friend Cayla who German regulators say was created for espionage, forced the country to ban it from households entirely. While Nuance, the American company who created the internet-connected doll, says Cayla simply acts as a secret-keeping interactive friend for kids, others have been quick to point out its creep factor. Not only does the device engage in targeted advertising towards kids, it also poses a massive threat for users who use an insecure Bluetooth pairing to link the doll to smartphones. So, the next time you’re contemplating what to get for your new nephew, rethink how cool that wifi-connected toy car is. 5. Cell Phones usnews.com Even your favorite app, Candy Crush, can be used against you in the world of hacking. In a recent study, researchers found that they were able to hack a link from the app Angry Birds and use it to take photos, record conversations, and track the location of a user’s phone. By building malware that impersonates your favorite app, hackers can take over your Android device and use it to steal private information. 4. Your Mobile Wallet ipsosasiapacific.com This one’s especially important for the online shopaholic who buys products in just a matter of clicks. The truth is that the latest mobile payment technologies are grossly broken when it comes to security. Of course, platforms offered by brands such as Apple, Google, and Samsung are working to address this issue. Apple Pay has set up tokenization and Touch ID to improve security flaws that come with credit card numbers and passwords. Still, since most of these platforms store credit card information in a cloud, hackers can still break into systems and steal information. The next time you check out of a store on your mobile, keep in mind that anything operating in the cloud is automatically a security threat to your information. 3. Baby Monitors cnet.com Plenty of today’s baby monitors come with a long list of high-tech features tacked on to them—some feature wireless connectivity and some even have motion sensors. There’s a lesson being learned by various families across the globe who have been horrified by the knowledge that their children’s baby monitors have been hacked. The biggest takeaway from incidents such as these is to always change the factory pre-set username and password that come with baby monitors and similar devices. 2. Smoke Detector hortica.com Nothing says a home is at risk like a home with compromised emergency alert devices. Some connectors of a smart home fail to encrypt data or to prompt users to authenticate their devices. Such massive oversights can make your home defenseless to hackers intending to inflict severe harm. Always be sure with smart home-related devices that its anti-malware software is constantly updated and passwords are changed as soon as they’re set up with your home wifi. 1. Your Car wired.com Some car companies are taking hacking seriously, going so far as to hire computer security experts to prevent hackers from taking control of their vehicles. That’s right, those self-driving smart cars are pretty much a hackers dream. They’re basically computers on wheels and, in their minds, theirs for the taking. Two years ago, researchers, looking for computer vulnerabilities in order to prevent crimes, were able to successfully take over a Jeep Cherokee while on the highway; being miles away from the car they hacked, it’s crazy that they were still able to effectively render the test-driver powerless over the vehicle. The motivations for hacking a vehicle go beyond stealing cars, data, and even kidnapping victims–researchers say the power of hacking is limitless. To truly ensure the security of autonomous vehicles, car makers will have to do their best to address vulnerabilities that pop up in new sensors and computers by pairing up with software companies.