“Dr. Herbert Lin, one of the nation’s pre-eminent thinkers on cybersecurity policy, shuns the internet-connected devices that fill some American homes,” Tim Johnson reports for The Sacramento Bee. “He’ll have nothing to do with ‘smart’ refrigerators, hands-free home speakers he can call by name, intelligent thermostats and the like.”

“Part of what he distrusts is the ‘internet of things,’ and the ease with which hackers can penetrate ‘smart’ devices with digital worms and shanghai them into massive robotic networks to launch crippling digital attacks or generate ever greater quantities of spam,” Johnson reports. “It is a mistrust based on mathematics. Internet-enabled devices are exploding in number. Gartner, a research giant in technology, says the devices will climb from 6.4 billion at the end of last year to 25 billion by 2020. Such growth sharply augments the power of hidden robotic networks, or botnets.”

“Many consumers don’t realize that internet-enabled devices are unregulated and insecure – simpleton digital recruits in potential malicious armies,” Johnson reports. “A botnet already made headlines once. Last Oct. 21, a botnet slowed internet activity to a crawl along the Atlantic Seaboard. A hacker using a malicious worm dubbed Mirai – Japanese for ‘the future’ – took over thousands of internet-connected security cameras and other seemingly innocuous devices and ordered them to fire relentless digital ‘pings’ at a New Hampshire company, Dyn, that oversees part of the backbone of the internet. Dyn was overwhelmed, and popular sites such as Twitter and The New York Times were temporarily inaccessible.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The article doesn’t mention Apple’s HomeKit. It should, if only as a counterpoint, because Apple’s HomeKit is secure. Millions upon millions of insecure Android IoT devices are the problem, as usual.

If it’s not HomeKit-compatible, it’s not going in our homes or offices.MacDailyNews, January 9, 2017

For home automation, smart people go the HomeKit route.MacDailyNews, March 2, 2017

Apple HomeKit-certified devices are listed here.

SEE ALSO:
Hidden backdoor discovered in Chinese IoT devices – March 2, 2017
U.S. FTC sues D-Link for failure to secure webcams, routers from online attacks – January 9, 2017
DDoS attack: Apple’s HomeKit for a safer smarthome – October 24, 2016
First case of Android Trojan spreading via mobile botnets discovered – September 5, 2013

Google Pixel phone completely pwned in 60 seconds – November 11, 2016
Android malware that can infiltrate corporate networks is spreading rapidly – September 30, 2016
Over 10 million Android phones reportedly infected with Chinese malware – July 5, 2016
Apple’s revolutionary iPhone is nine years old – and still no significant malware outbreaks – June 29, 2016
Android malware hits Aussie bank customers, iOS users unaffected – March 10, 2016
Android malware steals one-time passcodes, a crucial defense for online banking – January 14, 2016
New Android malware is so bad, you’d better off buying a new phone – November 6, 2015
Apple issues iPhone manifesto; blasts Android’s lack of updates, lack of privacy, rampant malware – August 10, 2015
New Android malware strains to top 2 million by end of 2015 – July 1, 2015
Symantec: 1 in 5 Android apps is malware – April 25, 2015
Kaspersky Lab Director: Over 98% of mobile malware targets Android because it’s much, much easier to exploit than iOS – January 15, 2015
Security experts: Malware spreading to millions on Android phones – November 21, 2014
There’s practically no iOS malware, thanks to Apple’s smart control over app distribution – June 13, 2014
F-Secure: Android accounted for 99% of new mobile malware in Q1 2014 – April 30, 2014
Google’s Sundar Pichai: Android not designed to be safe; if I wrote malware, I’d target Android, too – February 27, 2014
Cisco: Android the target of 99 percent of world’s mobile malware – January 17, 2014
U.S. DHS, FBI warn of malware threats to Android mobile devices – August 27, 2013
Android app malware rates skyrocket 40 percent in last quarter – August 7, 2013
First malware found in wild that exploits Android app signing flaw – July 25, 2013
Mobile Threats Report: Android accounts for 92% of all mobile malware – June 26, 2013
Latest self-replicating Android Trojan looks and acts just like Windows malware – June 7, 2013
99.9% of new mobile malware targets Android phones – May 30, 2013
Mobile malware exploding, but only for Android – May 14, 2013
Mobile malware: Android is a bad apple – April 15, 2013
F-Secure: Android accounted for 96% of all mobile malware in Q4 2012 – March 7, 2013
New malware attacks Android phones, Windows PCs to eavesdrop, steal data; iPhone, Mac users unaffected – February 4, 2013