Posted on September 6, 2018 at 12:16 PM
Computers and internet-operating devices are not the only ones susceptible to cyber-attacks. Other non-internet gadgets such as your fax machines and printers too can be hacked.
Everyone seems to protect their computers, tablets, laptops, and phones today from malicious agents. This is right and as a matter of fact, the antivirus software used on these internet-operated devices must be up-to-date. That aside, you should avoid going to suspicious sites even as you keep your personal login details secret.
But guess what? Hacking, or what is known as cyber-attack, has stepped up. Computers and mobile devices are not the only ones at the risk of being compromised these days. Your printers, fax machines, and coffee pots that you don’t connect directly to the internet too can be hacked.
All that it takes to put your devices at risk is to get them connected to a single network. As soon as a hacker breaks the network code, all devices operating on this network can easily be attacked.
A recent example of this trend is contained in the latest claim by some security researchers. They stated that they were able to hack a computer network by just sending some malicious fax to it. And apart from this approach, there are several other ways your devices can be invaded by hackers.
So, having an air-tight antivirus alone is not a guarantee for safety. Someone can just use the newly-installed cat flap to rob you of your devices.
Baby Monitors And Printers
These are devices which we do not normally view as computers in themselves but which are closely related to it. As it is today, many printers now have their unique internet connections. This allows one printer to exchange information with another printer in the same vicinity wirelessly.
And as good as this innovation is, it is the first thing hackers exploit in accessing your network. Once they can find their way through a security control, your printer and others that are connected to it are at their mercies. This hacking is very prominent as a hacker just declared to have invaded not less than 150,000 printers. He claimed he did this just to let everyone know how vulnerable their printer is.
In the same way, a lot of baby monitors plus some security cameras are now internet-controlled. This is to enable users to access them even when they are not at home. To this effect, the Department of Consumer Affairs in New York recently gave out a public warning on baby monitors. This is in response to the many reports by owners claiming that they heard the voice of strangers on them
Coffee Makers And Toys
Recent gains in internet technology have seen devices that are not computers operate by the internet. And it appears that these devices become compromised immediately they become internet-oriented. Examples of these include coffee machines, toys, cars, medical implants, thermostats.
If a hacker can break into any of these devices, he or she can try out as many attacks as possible on other. For a coffee maker, for instance, hackers could cause a communication disconnect. And if it is a medical implant, this communication disconnect can be life-threatening.
As for a toy, hackers can equally steal data that are sent to it. Even if one sees this as insignificant, what of the car key? Hackers can manipulate things to know where your keys are.
Surprisingly, devices that do not directly have anything to do with the internet also get hacked. As recently reported and earlier mentioned, even fax machines get hacked. Hackers get into fax machines by sending images that have been pre-loaded with malicious codes to them.
As these images become converted to transmissible data in the internal network of the computer, the damage is done. So, internet or no internet, once a device interfaces with the outside world, it stands the risk of being risked.
How To Be Safe
That a device is susceptible to cyber-attacks does not mean it is doomed to it. As a user of any of these devices stated, you can prevent invasion by using some security technologies available to networks. Examples of such include using viable authentication methods and even powerful firewalls. Granted, this method requires a technical know-how and may not be easy to apply by a newbie.
But maybe a long-lasting safety solution is to avoid the internet altogether if and when possible. Regardless of the thrills and frills that may be associated with the internet, we don’t always need it all the time. If your heart monitor can get hacked by someone, what good does connecting it to the internet do you? If your doll will look more sophisticated with the internet but invade your privacy, why keep keeping on?
Again, even for some of these technologies that are internet-reliant, maybe we should just begin to hold their providers accountable too. How about them working more on their cybersecurity? Many of them springing up every now and then place a little premium on security. If we use our buying influence to demand a more secure technology, the hacking trend can also be curtailed. Stated differently, if a gadget does not have a viable cybersecurity framework, don’t buy it.
Be that as it may, the fact that your pen can be connected to the internet does not mean it should always do so. Otherwise even our toasters and fridges may soon become insecure.