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Hackers, Computer Errors May Kill in the Internet of Things, Europol Warns

Hackers, Computer Errors May Kill in the Internet of Things, Europol Warns

Hackers, Computer Errors May Kill in the Internet of Things, Europol WarnsHacking and computer errors, currently mainly a concern in relation to fraud and data loss, could start causing injury and death in the near future with the increasing number of Internet-connected devices in the Internet of Things (IoT) era, according to a Europol report.

The newness of the technology will heighten risks of failure, hacking and human error “and history suggests that such technology remains vulnerable for an initial period,” the Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment states.

The IoT is also at risk of “common-mode failures,” or failures that result from a single mistake. One such error can affect a large number of potential victims and fixing vulnerabilities could take years to happen.

The cloud is also considered a lucrative platform for hackers, and can make investigations more difficult if the service provider is outside the European Union. “The falling price, global distribution and relative anonymity of cloud services means that criminals are bound to see it as a good platform for mounting criminal activity,” the report adds.

Europol says it needs the right tools to combat this new form of cybercrime.

“Current data retention laws are insufficient for law enforcement,” it says. “The majority of intelligence and evidence for cyber investigations comes from private industry. With no data retention, there can be no attribution and therefore no prosecutions. In this context a new EU Directive on data retention, following the European Court of Justice’s annulment of the existing measure is urgently required.”

About the author

Alexandra GHEORGHE

Alexandra started writing about IT at the dawn of the decade - when an iPad was an eye-injury patch, we were minus Google+ and we all had Jobs. She has since wielded her background in PR and marketing communications to translate binary code to colorful stories that have been known to wear out readers' mouse scrolls. Alexandra is also a social media enthusiast who 'likes' only what she likes and LOLs only when she laughs out loud.