The Cupcake Caper: Sometimes (too rarely) the good guys win a round in the cyber conflagration

Until July 2017 rolled around, the most artful headline about our basic human gullibility which leads to our losing badly when confronted by a clever cyber adversary, was in the New York Times in April  2014:

They came in through the Chinese takeout menu

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/08/technology/the-spy-in-the-soda-machine.html

But then, in late July, the copy stylists at the Jeff Bezos owned Washington Post bested “The Gray Lady” of Gotham, with this killer construct:

How a fish tank helped hack a casino

The article, debuting as it did just before the Black Hat USA 2017 and Def Con 2017 pure hearted hacker events convened in Las Vegas, offers an almost whimsical view of how an Internet of Things enabled fish tank could bring down a casino.  But apparently there is no April Fool moment, Oceans 11 can’t save little Dory.

The #IoT will bring many benefits – but thru the glass and darkly, it will also create countless new attack vectors for creative cyber thieves.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2017/07/21/how-a-fish-tank-helped-hack-a-casino/

As the average citizen engages with the IoT, device sellers have a terrific educational opportunity to truly get closer to their customers, through teaching buyers of a new thermostat, or baby monitor, or home theatre unit, or even a fish tank, how to truly “own” the device.  How does the consumer move past default security settings (if it is even possible)? How does the consumer really benefit from the virtues of the device instead of being Pwned by the hidden backdoor, the always on camera, the always listening smart home pod?

And if the device sellers won’t do the hard work of baking real cyber security into their #ioT device, using the design principle – #SecurityByDesign, then the Government will need to step in.

And thus we end our tale, with a wonderful look back at the white hat hacking subterfuge of Britain’s fabled MI-6 intelligence service:

MI6 Hacks Al-Qaeda and Gives Them Cupcake Recipes

https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2011/06/03/mi6-hacks-al-qaeda-and-gives-them-cupcake-recipes/#4ba599501a78

May we all live to see more sweetness and light from the Internet of Things, as opposed the darkness desired by the data desperadoes.

PS: Maps of homes?  What could possibly go wrong? From the MIT Technology Review, 25 July 2017:

Your Roomba Is Also Gathering Data about the Layout of Your Home

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/608344/your-roomba-is-also-gathering-data-about-the-layout-of-your-home/