TO A layman, the phrase “Internet of Things” (IoT) probably conjures up a half-fantastic future in which refrigerators monitor their own contents and send orders direct to the grocer when the butter is running out, while tired commuters order baths to be drawn automatically using their smartphones as they approach their houses in their self-driving cars. Actually, though, a version of the IoT is already here. Wi-Fi hubs, smart televisions, digital video-recorders and the like are all part of a network of devices run by microprocessors that, just as much as desktop, laptop and tablet computers, form part of the internet—but with one crucial distinction. Unlike things immediately recognisable as computers, these devices are often designed with poor security, or even none at all. They are wide open to malicious hackers who might wish to misuse them. And there are already around 5 billion of them, according to Cisco, the world’s largest computer-networking company, with billions more to come in the years ahead.
One favourite trick of such hackers is the distributed denial of service attack, or…Continue reading
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