A ransom. When you hear that word usually the image that comes to mind is one of an evil person who has kidnapped someone we care about (or family pet) and refuses to release them until a certain sum of money is paid.
Well, in 2016, kidnappings have expanded beyond the realm of human beings and our house pets. Now, thanks to the Smart Grid and Smart Technologies, we have to worry about someone holding our thermostat hostage.
According to an article on Business Insider, hackers, acting as researchers, have for the first time created ransomeware for smart thermostats:
Security experts have constructed the first ransomware for smart thermostats, according to Motherboard.
On August 6, at cybersecurity conference Def Con, hackers Andrew Tierney and Ken Monroe revealed the malware that infected a Linux-based internet connected thermostat. The white hat hackers said they created the ransomware as a proof of concept rather than for profit. The two did not reveal the make of the thermostat but said they would inform the manufacturer of the flaw.
Ransomware is a form of malware that infects an individual computer or system and refuses to unlock until certain conditions are met.
Can you imagine coming home from a long, hot day at work only to find your thermostat is set to 100 degrees all because someone has taken control of it and refuses to allow you access until you pay a certain sum of money to an undisclosed account?
Don’t strain yourself and imagine too hard. Because if this new ransomware and the speed at which Americans are embracing the Smart Grid and are more than willing to throw away their privacy all in the name of the newest electronic gadget are any indication, you won’t have to wait too long before this nightmare, becomes a reality.