Infected Vending Machines And Light Bulbs DDoS A University — from forbes.com by Lee Mathews; with a shout out to eduwire for this resource

Excerpt:

IoT devices have become a favorite weapon of cybercriminals. Their generally substandard security — and the sheer numbers of connected devices — make them an enticing target. We’ve seen what a massive IoT botnet is capable of doing, but even a relatively small one can cause a significant amount of trouble.

A few thousand infected IoT devices can cut a university off from the Internet, according to an incident that the Verizon RISK (Research, Investigations, Solutions and Knowledge) team was asked to assist with. All the attacker had to do was re-program the devices so they would periodically try to connect to seafood-related websites.

How can that simple act grind Internet access to a halt across an entire university network? By training around 5,000 devices to send DNS queries simultaneously…

 

 

Hackers Use New Tactic at Austrian Hotel: Locking the Doors — from nytimes.com by Dan Bilefskyjan

Excerpt:

The ransom demand arrived one recent morning by email, after about a dozen guests were locked out of their rooms at the lakeside Alpine hotel in Austria.

The electronic key system at the picturesque Romantik Seehotel Jaegerwirt had been infiltrated, and the hotel was locked out of its own computer system, leaving guests stranded in the lobby, causing confusion and panic.

“Good morning?” the email began, according to the hotel’s managing director, Christoph Brandstaetter. It went on to demand a ransom of two Bitcoins, or about $1,800, and warned that the cost would double if the hotel did not comply with the demand by the end of the day, Jan. 22.

Mr. Brandstaetter said the email included details of a “Bitcoin wallet” — the account in which to deposit the money — and ended with the words, “Have a nice day!”

 

“Ransomware is becoming a pandemic,” said Tony Neate, a former British police officer who investigated cybercrime for 15 years. “With the internet, anything can be switched on and off, from computers to cameras to baby monitors.”

 

To guard against future attacks, however, he said the Romantik Seehotel Jaegerwirt was considering replacing its electronic keys with old-fashioned door locks and real keys of the type used when his great-grandfather founded the hotel. “The securest way not to get hacked,” he said, “is to be offline and to use keys.”

 

 

 

Regulation of the Internet of Things — from schneier.com by Bruce Schneier

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Late last month, popular websites like Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit and PayPal went down for most of a day. The distributed denial-of-service attack that caused the outages, and the vulnerabilities that made the attack possible, was as much a failure of market and policy as it was of technology. If we want to secure our increasingly computerized and connected world, we need more government involvement in the security of the “Internet of Things” and increased regulation of what are now critical and life-threatening technologies. It’s no longer a question of if, it’s a question of when.

The technical reason these devices are insecure is complicated, but there is a market failure at work. The Internet of Things is bringing computerization and connectivity to many tens of millions of devices worldwide. These devices will affect every aspect of our lives, because they’re things like cars, home appliances, thermostats, light bulbs, fitness trackers, medical devices, smart streetlights and sidewalk squares. Many of these devices are low-cost, designed and built offshore, then rebranded and resold. The teams building these devices don’t have the security expertise we’ve come to expect from the major computer and smartphone manufacturers, simply because the market won’t stand for the additional costs that would require. These devices don’t get security updates like our more expensive computers, and many don’t even have a way to be patched. And, unlike our computers and phones, they stay around for years and decades.

An additional market failure illustrated by the Dyn attack is that neither the seller nor the buyer of those devices cares about fixing the vulnerability. The owners of those devices don’t care. They wanted a webcam —­ or thermostat, or refrigerator ­— with nice features at a good price. Even after they were recruited into this botnet, they still work fine ­— you can’t even tell they were used in the attack. The sellers of those devices don’t care: They’ve already moved on to selling newer and better models. There is no market solution because the insecurity primarily affects other people. It’s a form of invisible pollution.

 

 

From DSC:
We have to do something about these security-related issues — now!  If not, you can kiss the Internet of Things goodbye — or at least I sure hope so. Don’t get me wrong. I’d like to the the Internet of Things come to fruition in many areas. However, if governments and law enforcement agencies aren’t going to get involved to fix the problems, I don’t want to see the Internet of Things take off.  The consequences of not getting this right are too huge — with costly ramifications.  As Bruce mentions in his article, it will likely take government regulation before this type of issue goes away.

 

 

Regardless of what you think about regulation vs. market solutions, I believe there is no choice. Governments will get involved in the IoT, because the risks are too great and the stakes are too high. Computers are now able to affect our world in a direct and physical manner.

Bruce Schneier

 

 

 



Addendum on 2/15/17:

I was glad to learn of the following news today:

  • NXP Unveils Secure Platform Solution for the IoT — from finance.yahoo.com
    Excerpt:
    SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 13, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — RSA Conference 2017 – Electronic security and trust are key concerns in the digital era, which are magnified as everything becomes connected in the Internet of Things (IoT). NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NXPI) today disclosed details of a secure platform for building trusted connected products. The QorIQ Layerscape Secure Platform, built on the NXP trust architecture technology, enables developers of IoT equipment to easily build secure and trusted systems. The platform provides a complete set of hardware, software and process capabilities to embed security and trust into every aspect of a product’s life cycle.Recent security breaches show that even mundane devices like web-cameras or set-top boxes can be used to both attack the Internet infrastructure and/or spy on their owners. IoT solutions cannot be secured against such misuse unless they are built on technology that addresses all aspects of a secure and trusted product lifecycle. In offering the Layerscape Secure Platform, NXP leverages decades of experience supplying secure embedded systems for military, aerospace, and industrial markets.

 

 

Code-Dependent: Pros and Cons of the Algorithm Age — from pewinternet.org by Lee Rainie and Janna Anderson
Algorithms are aimed at optimizing everything. They can save lives, make things easier and conquer chaos. Still, experts worry they can also put too much control in the hands of corporations and governments, perpetuate bias, create filter bubbles, cut choices, creativity and serendipity, and could result in greater unemployment

Excerpt:

Algorithms are instructions for solving a problem or completing a task. Recipes are algorithms, as are math equations. Computer code is algorithmic. The internet runs on algorithms and all online searching is accomplished through them. Email knows where to go thanks to algorithms. Smartphone apps are nothing but algorithms. Computer and video games are algorithmic storytelling. Online dating and book-recommendation and travel websites would not function without algorithms. GPS mapping systems get people from point A to point B via algorithms. Artificial intelligence (AI) is naught but algorithms. The material people see on social media is brought to them by algorithms. In fact, everything people see and do on the web is a product of algorithms. Every time someone sorts a column in a spreadsheet, algorithms are at play, and most financial transactions today are accomplished by algorithms. Algorithms help gadgets respond to voice commands, recognize faces, sort photos and build and drive cars. Hacking, cyberattacks and cryptographic code-breaking exploit algorithms. Self-learning and self-programming algorithms are now emerging, so it is possible that in the future algorithms will write many if not most algorithms.

Algorithms are often elegant and incredibly useful tools used to accomplish tasks. They are mostly invisible aids, augmenting human lives in increasingly incredible ways. However, sometimes the application of algorithms created with good intentions leads to unintended consequences. Recent news items tie to these concerns…

 

The use of algorithms is spreading as massive amounts of data are being created, captured and analyzed by businesses and governments. Some are calling this the Age of Algorithms and predicting that the future of algorithms is tied to machine learning and deep learning that will get better and better at an ever-faster pace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Per X Media Lab:

The authoritative CB Insights lists imminent Future Tech Trends: customized babies; personalized foods; robotic companions; 3D printed housing; solar roads; ephemeral retail; enhanced workers; lab-engineered luxury; botroots movements; microbe-made chemicals; neuro-prosthetics; instant expertise; AI ghosts. You can download the whole outstanding report here (125 pgs).

 

From DSC:
Though I’m generally pro-technology, there are several items in here which support the need for all members of society to be informed and have some input into if and how these technologies should be used. Prime example: Customized babies.  The report discusses the genetic modification of babies: “In the future, we will choose the traits for our babies.” Veeeeery slippery ground here.

 

Below are some example screenshots:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also see:

CBInsights — Innovation Summit

  • The New User Interface: The Challenge and Opportunities that Chatbots, Voice Interfaces and Smart Devices Present
  • Fusing the physical, digital and biological: AI’s transformation of healthcare
  • How predictive algorithms and AI will rule financial services
  • Autonomous Everything: How Connected Vehicles Will Change Mobility and Which Companies Will Own this Future
  • The Next Industrial Age: The New Revenue Sources that the Industrial Internet of Things Unlocks
  • The AI-100: 100 Artificial Intelligence Startups That You Better Know
  • Autonomous Everything: How Connected Vehicles Will Change Mobility and Which Companies Will Own this Future

 

 

 

From DSC:
First, some items regarding the enormous emphasis being put towards the use of robotics and automation:

  • $18.867 billion paid to acquire 50 robotics companies in 2016 — from robohub.org by Frank Tobe
    Excerpt:
    2016 was a banner year for acquisitions of companies involved in robotics and automation: 50 sold; 11 for amounts over $500 million; five were over a billion. 30 of the 50 companies disclosed transaction amounts which totaled up to a colossal $18.867 billion!
    .
  • 2017: The year people are forced to learn new skills… or join the Lost Generation — from enterpriseirregulars.com by Phil Fersht
    Excerpt (emphasis DSC):
    Let’s cut to the chase – there have never been times as uncertain as these in the world of business. There is no written rule-book to follow when it comes to career survival. The “Future of Work” is about making ourselves employable in a workforce where the priority of business leaders is to invest in automation and digital technology, more than training and developing their own workforces. As our soon-to-be-released State of Operations and Outsourcing 2017 study, conducted in conjunction with KPMG across 454 major enterprise buyers globally, shows a dramatic shift in priorities from senior managers (SVPs and above), where 43% are earmarking significant investment in robotic automation of processes, compared with only 28% placing a similar emphasis on training and change management. In fact, the same number of senior managers are as focused on cognitive computing as their own people… yes, folks, this is the singularity of enterprise operations, where cognitive computing now equals employees’ brains when it comes to investment!

    My deep-seated fear for today’s workforce is that we’re in danger of becoming this “Lost Generation” of workers if we persist in relying on what we already know, versus avoiding learning new skills that business leaders now need. We have to become students again, put our egos aside, and broaden our capabilities to avoid the quicksand of legacy executives no longer worth employing.

 

 

 

Below are some other resources along these lines:

 

From DSC:
Given that these trends continue (i.e., to outsource work to software and to robots), what will the ramifications be for:

  • Society at large? Will enough people have enough income to purchase the products/services made by the robots and the software?
  • Will there be major civil unrest / instability? Will crime rates shoot through the roof as peoples’ desperation and frustration escalate?
  • How we should change our curricula within K-12?
  • How should we change our curricular within higher education?
  • How should corporate training & development departments/groups respond to these trends?
  • Is there some new criteria that we need to use (or increase the usage of) in selecting C-level executives?

People don’t want to hear about it. But if the only thing that the C-level suites out there care about is maximizing profits and minimizing costs — REGARDLESS of what happens to humankind — then we are likely going to be creating a very dangerous future. Capitalism will have gone awry. (By the way, the C-level suite is probably making their decisions based upon how their performance is judged by Wall Street and by shareholders. So I can’t really put all the blame on them. Perhaps the enemy is ourselves…?) 

Bottom line: We need to be careful which technologies we implement — and how they are implemented. We need to create a dream in our futures, not a nightmare. We need people at the helms who care about their fellow humankind, and who use the power of these technologies responsibly.

 

 

An open letter to Microsoft and Google’s Partnership on AI — from wired.com by Gerd Leonhard
In a world where machines may have an IQ of 50,000, what will happen to the values and ethics that underpin privacy and free will?

Excerpt:

Dear Francesca, Eric, Mustafa, Yann, Ralf, Demis and others at IBM, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Amazon.

The Partnership on AI to benefit people and society is a welcome change from the usual celebration of disruption and magic technological progress. I hope it will also usher in a more holistic discussion about the global ethics of the digital age. Your announcement also coincides with the launch of my book Technology vs. Humanity which dramatises this very same question: How will technology stay beneficial to society?

This open letter is my modest contribution to the unfolding of this new partnership. Data is the new oil – which now makes your companies the most powerful entities on the globe, way beyond oil companies and banks. The rise of ‘AI everywhere’ is certain to only accelerate this trend. Yet unlike the giants of the fossil-fuel era, there is little oversight on what exactly you can and will do with this new data-oil, and what rules you’ll need to follow once you have built that AI-in-the-sky. There appears to be very little public stewardship, while accepting responsibility for the consequences of your inventions is rather slow in surfacing.

 

partnershiponai-sept2016

 

Established to study and formulate best practices on AI technologies, to advance the public’s understanding of AI, and to serve as an open platform for discussion and engagement about AI and its influences on people and society.

 

GOALS

Support Best Practices
To support research and recommend best practices in areas including ethics, fairness, and inclusivity; transparency and interoperability; privacy; collaboration between people and AI systems; and of the trustworthiness, reliability, and robustness of the technology.

Create an Open Platform for Discussion and Engagement
To provide a regular, structured platform for AI researchers and key stakeholders to communicate directly and openly with each other about relevant issues.

Advance Understanding
To advance public understanding and awareness of AI and its potential benefits and potential costs to act as a trusted and expert point of contact as questions/concerns arise from the public and others in the area of AI and to regularly update key constituents on the current state of AI progress.

 

 

 

If you doubt that we are on an exponential pace of change, you need to check these articles out! [Christian]

exponentialpaceofchange-danielchristiansep2016

 

From DSC:
The articles listed in
this PDF document demonstrate the exponential pace of technological change that many nations across the globe are currently experiencing and will likely be experiencing for the foreseeable future. As we are no longer on a linear trajectory, we need to consider what this new trajectory means for how we:

  • Educate and prepare our youth in K-12
  • Educate and prepare our young men and women studying within higher education
  • Restructure/re-envision our corporate training/L&D departments
  • Equip our freelancers and others to find work
  • Help people in the workforce remain relevant/marketable/properly skilled
  • Encourage and better enable lifelong learning
  • Attempt to keep up w/ this pace of change — legally, ethically, morally, and psychologically

 

PDF file here

 

One thought that comes to mind…when we’re moving this fast, we need to be looking upwards and outwards into the horizons — constantly pulse-checking the landscapes. We can’t be looking down or be so buried in our current positions/tasks that we aren’t noticing the changes that are happening around us.

 

 

 

Below are some interesting thoughts and predictions from CEDIA, the leading global authority in the home technology industry.


 

CEDIA’s Tech Council Sees the Future, Part 1: In No Particular Order

Prediction 1: Mixed reality rooms will begin to replace home theater.
As Eric Johnson summed up last year in Recode, “to borrow an example from Microsoft’s presentation at the gaming trade show E3, you might be looking at an ordinary table, but see an interactive virtual world from the video game Minecraft sitting on top of it. As you walk around, the virtual landscape holds its position, and when you lean in close, it gets closer in the way a real object would.” Can a “holographic” cinema experience really be that far off? With 3D sound? And Smell-O-Vision?

 

CEDIA’s Tech Council Sees the Future, Part 2: Wes Anderson’s Favorite Screen

Prediction 13. Full-wall video with multiscreens will appear in the home. Here’s something interesting: The first three predictions in this set of 10 all have an origin in commercial applications. This one — think of it more as digital signage than sports bar — will allow the user to have access to a wall that includes a weather app, a Twitter feed, a Facebook page, the latest episode of Chopped, a Cubs game, and literally anything else a member — or members — of the family are interested in. The unintended consequences: some 13-year-old will one day actually utter the phrase, “MOM! Can you minimize your Snapchat already!?!”

 

CEDIA’s Tech Council Sees the Future, Part 3: Glass, Moore’s Law, and “Autopilot”

Prediction 22: Intelligent glass will be used as a control interface, entertainment platform, comfort control, and communication screen. Gordon van Zuiden says, “We live in a world of touch, glass-based icons. Obviously the phone is the preeminent example — what if all the glass that’s around you in the house could have some level of projection so that shower doors, windows, and mirrors could be practical interfaces?” Extend that smart concept to surfaces that don’t just respond to touch, but to gesture and voice — and now extend that to surfaces outside the home. 

 

Prediction 28: User-programmable platforms based on interoperable systems will be the new control and integration paradigm. YOU: “Alexa, please find Casablanca on Apple TV and send it to my Android phone. And order up a pizza.”

 

CEDIA’s Tech Council Sees the Future, Part 4: “Anything That Can Be Hacked, Will Be Hacked”

Prediction 34. Consumer sensors will increase in sensitivity and function. The Internet of Things will become a lot like Santa: “IoT sees you when you’re sleeping/IoT knows when you’re awake/IoT knows if you’ve been bad or good…”

 

CEDIA’s Tech Council Predicts the Future, Part 5: Getting Older

Prediction 47. Policy and technology will drive the security concerns over internet and voice connected devices. “When you add the complexity of ‘always on, always listening’ connected devices … keeping the consumer’s best interests in mind might not always be top of mind for corporations [producing these devices],” notes Maniscalco. “[A corporation’s] interest is usually in profits.” Maniscalco believes that a consumer push for legislation on the dissemination of the information a company can collect will be the “spark that ignites true security and privacy for the consumer.”

 

CEDIA’s Tech Council Predicts the Future, Part 6: Lights! Uber! Security!

Prediction 53. The flexible use of the light socket: Lighting becomes more than lighting. Think about the amount of coverage — powered coverage — that the footprint of a home’s network of light sockets provides. Mike Maniscalco of Ihiji has: “You can use that coverage and power to do really interesting things, like integrate sensors into the lighting. Track humidity, people’s movements, change patterns based on what’s happening in that room.”

 

CEDIA’s Tech Council Predicts the Future, Part 7: Networks, Voice Control, and The Three Laws of Robotics

Prediction 64. Voice and face recognition and authentication services become more ubiquitous. Yes, your front door will recognize your face — other people’s, too. “Joe Smith comes to your door, you get a text message without having to capture video, so that’s a convenience,” notes Jacobson.

 

 

 

Elon Musk speech: ‘The dumbest experiment in history’ — with thanks to Mr. Joe Byerwalter for this resource

 

NewGoal

 

 

 

 

Also see:
Dear College Students: You Should Take Geology — from wired.com by Erik Klemetti

Excerpt:

Few disciplines in today’s world play such a significant role in how society operates and what we can do to protect our future. Few fields of study can play such a profound role in protecting people’s lives on a daily basis, whether you realize it or not. And few can bring together so many disparate ideas, from sciences to social sciences to humanities to the arts, like the study of the Earth can.

Here are some of the ways that taking a course in the geology will impact your life for the rest of it.

Climate: Now, so far I’ve talked about all the fun parts of geology. However, if you’re looking for work that is important to you, your family and society across the planet, geology is the place to be. First off, geology is ground zero for understanding climate change across the history of Earth. We’ve been studying the variation in the planet’s ecosystems for two centuries now (heck, paleontology helped start the discipline) and can look back billions of years to see how the climate has varied. This gives us that evidence to show how much our current climate is likely in a state of distress. Geology is also how we can understand what the impact of climate change will be on our planet, both in the short- and long-term.

 

 

 

 

IdioT InTo IoT — from a2apple.com by Michael Moe, Luben Pampoulov, Li Jiang, Nick Franco, Suzee Han, Michael Bartimer

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

But an interesting twist to Negroponte’s paradigm is emerging. As we embed chips in physical devices to make them “smart,” bits and atoms are co-mingling in compelling ways. Collectively called the Internet of Things (IoT), connected devices are appearing in our homes, on the highway, in manufacturing plants, and on our wrists. Estimates vary widely but IDC has predicted that the IoT market will surpass $1.7 trillion by 2020.

Here again, Amazon’s arc is instructive. Its “Echo” smart speaker, powered by a digital assistant, “Alexa”, has sold over three million units in a little over a year. Echo enables users to play music with voice commands, as well as manage other integrated home systems, including lights, fans, door locks, and thermostats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EmergingIOTPlatforms-2016

 

 

 

High-Profile Cyber Attacks on Physical Assets

 

 

 

 
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