Are you running insecure, internet-connected gadgets? Be careful or they might be attacked and rendered unusable by Brickerbot, malware that targets and bricks Internet of Things (IoT) devices with lackluster security.
As Geek.com notes, the hacker behind Brickerbot—who goes by the name "Janit0r"—sees these insecure IoT gadgets as a plague on society. Security software for PCs and mobile devices is now commonplace, but your DVR, router, or smart coffee pot is likely wide open to hackers all too willing to exploit them for DDoS attacks or botnet mischief.
I initially thought of IoT as a "who needs it?" kind of technology. Now I realize it's a "who can afford it?" kind of technology. Have you looked at any smart home devices recently? Let's examine some of the seemingly cool stuff.
One thing that caught my eye was the June Intelligent Oven. It's sold as a convection oven but is really just a toaster oven that hooks up to your smartphone for $1,500.
That's just the beginning. How about the LIFX Color 1000 smart LED lightbulbs? You can control their color spectrum over Wi-Fi using a smartphone app. That sounds like fun, but is bathing the house in chartreuse or mauve really worth $59.99 per bulb? Probably not.
Let's discuss the Solu, which is marketed as "a social computer." It appears to be a redesign on the Intel NUC tiny PC, only it requires a cloud service subscription and costs around $450. It does not run Windows. It appears to be the brainchild of a hipster millennial from Finland; personally, I would never buy anything from anyone who wears a pork pie hat. But that's just me.
Are millennials buying into all this IoT crap at these prices? From my experience, the answer is yes. I blame children's television programming.
- Connecting Everything to the Internet: What Could Go Wrong? Connecting Everything to the Internet: What Could Go Wrong?
As kids, today's Gen Xers were bombarded with TV ads for junk they just HAD TO HAVE. Parents bought it for them, and it was a piece of crap; the kid was upset but learned a lesson. Then the government got involved, reeling in deceptive ads targeted at children.
As a result, millennials have never been burned at an early age and have turned into a generation of suckers. The student loan "crisis" is a perfect example. Student loans are not new, so why did these kids go so deep into debt like this? I know many in deep debt who still must buy a new iPhone each year. This sort of thing makes zero sense to me but is common with the millennials.
So if the consumer grade Internet of Things takes off at these prices, you know who to blame.