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Forget Ocean’s 11 – The New Age Hackers….

Forget Ocean’s 11, hackers are increasingly targeting “internet of things”: devices or smart devices hooked up to the Internet that are not as safeguarded as computers.

Nicole Eagan, the CEO of cyber-defense company Darktrace, announced in a London conference that one particularly clever group of hackers infiltrated a casino through the “smart thermometer” of a lobby fish tank. A connected fish tank included sensors used to control the temperature, food distribution, and cleanliness of the tank. Those sensors all report to a piece of software sitting on the casino’s servers.

“The attackers used that to get a foothold in the network,” Eagan said. “They then found the high-roller database and then pulled that back across the network, out the thermostat, and up to the cloud.” “There’s a lot of internet of things devices, everything from thermostats, refrigeration systems, HVAC systems, to people who bring in their Alexa devices into the offices,” she added. “There’s just a lot of IoT. It expands the attack surface, and most of this isn’t covered by traditional defences.”

The hackers didn’t scam the casino out of money, but they likely did obtain private information about its high-rollers.

 Robert Hannigan, who ran the British government’s digital spying agency GCHQ from 2014 to 2017, appeared alongside Eagan on the panel and agreed that hackers targeting internet of things devices is a growing problem for companies. “With the internet of things producing thousands of new devices shoved onto the internet over the next few years, that’s going to be an increasing problem,” Hannigan said. “I saw a bank that had been hacked through its CCTV cameras because these devices are bought purely on cost.” He said regulation to mandate safety standards would likely be needed.

 

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