Dangers of IoT
Researchers at Princeton University found that many Internet of Things (IoT) devices are vulnerable in terms of data sharing and, thus, may endanger the lives of users. They found several popular IoT devices sharing user information with third parties without the knowledge of the user.
 
While for common people, IoT is a thing of convenience, for service- and device-providers, this creates an opportunity to measure, collect and analyse an ever-increasing variety of behavioural statistics. This cross-correlation of data could be very helpful for targeted marketing of products and services. 
 
As I had explained in my article “Internet of Things: A Frankenstein?” (Moneylife, 28 Apr-11 May 2017), IoT is the inter-networking of physical (smart) devices, vehicles, buildings and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators and network connectivity, that enables these objects to collect and exchange data. The ‘things’, in the IoT sense, refer to a wide variety of devices, such as heart-monitoring implants, bio-chip transponders, electric clams, automobiles with built-in sensors, DNA analysis devices and field operation devices that assist fire-fighters in search and rescue operations, to name a few.
 
A report from The Guardian pointed out how dolls connected through Internet allow remote spying on children. Another report says that botnets from millions of security cameras and digital video-recorders could be behind the attack on a global DNS service-provider. At the same time, surgically implanted pacemakers are susceptible to remote takeover, says a report from CNN Money
 
The user may not even know which companies or third parties are receiving her personal information from IoT devices, whether the IoT device has been hacked, or whether devices with always-on microphones are listening to private conversations. Especially after analysing more than 50 IoT devices, what the IoT inspector found about data sharing with third parties is quite scary. Here is what IoT inspector says about its findings…
 
Samsung Smart TV: During the first minute after power-on, the TV talks to Google Play, Double Click, Netflix, FandangoNOW, Spotify, CBS, MSNBC, NFL, Deezer, and Facebook—even though we did not sign in or create accounts with any of them.
 
Amcrest WiFi Security Camera: The camera actively communicates with cellphonepush.quickddns.com using HTTPS. QuickDDNS is a dynamic DNS service-provider operated by Dahua. 
 
Geeni Light Bulb: The Geeni smart bulb communicates with gw.tuyaus.com, which is operated by TuYa, a China-based company that also offers an MQTT service.
 
The researchers also looked at Samsung Smart Camera and TP-Line Smart Plug and found communications with third parties ranging from network time protocol (NTP) pools (time-servers) to video-storage services. “These third-party services are potentially single points of failure or vulnerability. A third party could aggregate user data from a wide range of devices, creating the possibility for tracking a user’s behaviour across many devices. These devices are also not transparent about the Internet services with which they communicate or share data. Most IoT devices do not mention the specific third parties they communicate with in their privacy policies, which makes it difficult for consumers to make purchasing decisions based on security and privacy considerations,” researchers from the Centre for Information Technology Policy at Princeton say.
 
We have a tendency to opt for things that make our lives easier—such as connecting every electronic device or gadget through Internet. But blindly rushing into these without even thinking about security aspects will surely make us vulnerable. 
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COMMENTS

Jatinder

10 months ago

There should be more of such articles. In-depth on AI, EI, 5G, IoT and 3D etc. all the so-called Exponential Digital Technologies, which are emerging fast, with so much impact on our lives and on the jobs-scenario all around.

New message bug crashes WhatsApp, Android devices
A bug is being forwarded via messages which when tapped, could send not just the WhatsApp Android app crashing but possibly even the entire Android device as well, the media reported.
 
"As with any message bomb, it involves sending and receiving a specially crafted message with hidden symbols in between spaces. Tapping on a portion of the text will basically make the app 'expand' the hidden symbols, potentially overloading the app and even the OS," SlashGear reported on Sunday.
 
Such messages or "message bombs" are not new and not limited to Android. Even iMessage is not immune to bugs that could send the app crashing. 
 
"There seem to be two variants of this WhatsApp message being forwarded. One involves an ominous black dot that comes with a warning on what will happen if you tap on it which most curious cats will do anyway," the report added.
 
Another "message bomb" which is causing the messaging platform to crash is more "nefarious, looks too innocent" and does not come with a warning.
 
The message includes special characters that do not display visibly but are used to change text behaviour. 
 
A superfluous amount of these invisible symbols causes WhatsApp to freeze. 
 
Facebook-owned WhatsApp has not commented on the potentially disruptive bug so far.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

 

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DND: Cut Out the Spam Messages
Who loves spam? Whether it is in the form of SMS or phone calls. We all hate spam and we all get spam. There are ways of blocking spam and each operator has various methods to enable DND (do not disturb) on your phone.
 
TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has come up with a wonderful app called—DND. It allows you to register for DND with your operator/service-provider, to avoid unsolicited commercial communication (UCC)/telemarketing calls / SMSs. It’s a simple process which not only blocks spam but also allows specific transactional messages to come through; for example,  you can allow banking (or several other category) messages to come through. 
 
Apart from allowing you to activate DND on your phone, the app also helps you file complaints for any message that may slip through and follow through on your complaint. This is a must-have app on all mobile phones in
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COMMENTS

Arnavaz m. Havewala

11 months ago

So what's new? DND has been there and available to cellphone users since many years.
This is nothing new or innovative.
Why is Moneylife putting a post about such an old application / service which has been in existence for so many years, now on its website as if its a brand new discovery?
Really--- I am shocked.

Anindya Bhattacharya

11 months ago

Thank you. Is it available for iOS platform also?

archana_rahatade

11 months ago

Necessary info.

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