In July 2014, at the “The Future of Warfare” at the Aspen Security Forum, Dawn Meyerriecks, the Deputy Director of the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology, cited concerns about the looming geo-security threats posed by the Internet of Things, i.e., the embedding of computers, sensors, and Internet capabilities into more and more physical objects:
“Smart refrigerators have been used in distributed denial of service attacks. Last year at least one smart fridge played a role in a massive spam attack, involving more than 100,000 internet connected devices and more than 750,000 spam emails. Even smart fluorescent LEDs that are communicating their need to be replaced are also being hijacked for other things.”
In August 2014, at Black Hat USA and DEF CON 22, the dominant and overarching conversation was about the discovery of embedded hardware weaknesses, hardcoded credentials, and intentional backdoors. These weaknesses were on display by researchers who found them in cars, TSA checkpoints, networks, and security systems, to name only a few.
In an interview with 60 Minutes, Dick Cheney said that he had a wireless pacemaker installed that would allow his doctor to monitor his heart online. However, he refused to enable the Bluetooth broadcasting feature for fear that it could be hacked. These are only a handful of examples of what security experts are concerned about when it comes to embedded media and the data security risk it can pose.
Embedded data is important due to the nature of the data itself. IP addresses, passwords, login information, device information, company information, confidential information, and other bits of information can now become deeply embedded in a device where you would not expect it.
To learn more about the threat that embedded data can pose to your company, please download our white paper: Embedded Data: Your “Hidden Secret” to Stopping a Major Data Breach — A call for awareness to the security threat of embedded data. It aims to educate customers and the public at large about the potential exposure and hidden dangers posed by embedded media.