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Tuesday, August 20, 2013


"The night knows what the day never suspects."
 -- Samuel McCord

"We die a bit each day by things we should have seen and did not."
-- Hibbs, the bear with two shadows

We accept things into our homes with joy that lurk with dangers unseen. 

1. Your Television
Ever wonder how your TV remembers what shows you’ve watched, which ones you plan to watch,

and how long you watched the Red Wedding episode of  GAMES OF THRONES before falling into nightmare-ridden sleep?

(That was the only episode of GOT I saw, at a friend's home.  Is it just me, or has TV lost its sense of propriety, of shame?)

The TV does it all by connecting to the Internet. Therein lies its weakness.

Computer Security firm ReVuln proved last year that it could hack Samsung’s newest televisions, accessing users’ settings, installing malware on the TVs and any connected devices, and harvesting all the personal data stored on the machine.

They could even switch on the camera embedded in the TV and watch viewers watching the set!

(If they were watching me viewing Red Wedding, they saw me with fingers over my eyes!!)

2. Your Dishwasher, Clothes Dryer, Toaster, Clock Radio and Remote Control

This may sound fantastical,

but no less an expert on spying than former CIA Director David Petraeus believes that even mundane appliances like your dishwasher could soon be used to gather intelligence about you.

Petraeus told a group of investors last year that such technology will be “transformational” for spies –could “change our notions of secrecy.” I think it could help criminals, too!

3. Your Lights
The same technology that enables monitoring of your home appliances also could allow would-be spies to monitor your lights.

In addition to tracking your schedule, taking control of your home lighting system could help robbers invade your home by turning off the lights and keeping them off during an invasion.

4. Insulin Pumps and Pacemakers

Forget about hacking your house. What about hacking your body?

In 2012,

White Hat hacker Barnaby Jack

proved he could kill a diabetic person from 300 feet away by ordering an insulin pump to deliver fatal doses of insulin!

This summer he announced he could hack pacemakers and implanted defibrillators!
“These are computers that are just as exploitable as your PC or Mac, but they’re not looked at as often,” Jack told Bloomberg.

“When you actually look at these devices, the security vulnerabilities are quite shocking.”

5. Smartphones

Think of every spy gadget dreamt up by Q in James Bond films.

 Microphone, still and video camera, geo-locating device, and computer software that can steal your personal passwords, hack your bank accounts, hijack your email and take control of other devices.
Your smartphone has all these things.

In addition, the U.S. military disclosed last year it created an app called PlaceRaider that uses a phone’s camera, geo-location data and its accelerometer to create a 3D map of the phone’s surroundings.

6. Your Tablet and Computer

Most tablets and computers have all the same tools as smartphones and some have even more.

If your phone can spy on you, they can too.

Even more so than our smartphones, we unwittingly stuff them with every imaginable tidbit of sensitive personal information

 from lists of passwords, to tax and financial information, to geo-tagged photographs, to the innermost secrets that we exchange with our friends.




  1. Yes, saw the wedding massacre, and wondered why the visiting family wasn't more suspicious. It was common practice for an entire line to be wiped out. They walked into the lion's mouth.

    You can find anything you want at the Internet Restaurant. . .

  2. It's really scary when you come to think of it.

  3. D.G.:
    I think it was a case of the author "forcing" a situation to happen that wouldn't have happened had the characters acted within their personalities and common sense. Yes, the internet is a place full of opportunities for all manner of things.

    Isn't it? Especially the pacemaker and insulin pump scenario!

  4. It was a disturbing episode but seriously they should have seen it coming, it irritated me that they were so stupid. A reminder maybe that we too should see how technology can suddenly be turned into something destructive in the wrong hands.

  5. Good to see you again, Siv!

    I hope your life is calming down a bit. When I see characters be extremely stupid when before they were not, I know the author is forcing events to happen which brings me right out of the narrative. And maybe the Red Wedding episode is a warning that we, too, may be acting stupid not realizing how vulnerable certain technology can make us. Thanks for visiting and commenting!! :-)

  6. Honestly, I don't think the Red Wedding is proof that television has lost its sense of propriety and shame. I would call that Honey Boo Boo.

    I have no fears about the television watching me (mostly because I don't connect mine to the internet). I'm also not entirely sure about devices like insulin pumps being hacked. If the manufacturers aren't smarter than that, they're opening themselves to a lawsuit. And hacking smart devices can usually only be done if the hacker has passwords to the devices, so it can be avoided if you're careful about them.

  7. J E:
    Stabbing a screaming pregnant woman repeatedly in her belly is repugnant to me. I know history is smeared red with even worse atrocities but I really do not derive enjoyment out of the thought or the sight. But that is just me.

    Not everyone is wise enough to disconnect their TV from the net nor do they think it is necessary. In a high-tech world, devices can become Trojan Horses.

    And up until the hacker proved such a horrendous thing could be done to an insulin pump, passwords were not thought to be necessary. I would not have thought to murder someone by tinkering with one, but there are monsters out there.

    Still you are right: there are more pressing problems to worry about. :-)

  8. This is extremely creepy. Thankfully...I don't watch TV...I don't need an insulin pump...and I don't have a tablet.

  9. Ice Girl:
    Technology can always be turned against us it seems. Brrr. It is creepy since there are so many hackers out there with cruel senses of humor.