terminatorImagine a world where the technology that you hold so dear has turned on you. Most minds would immediately imagine a Terminator situation with massive casualties and chaos. Although it sounds impossible, researchers say a technology takeover could be possible, on a much smaller scale.

Researchers at the University of Washington believe that it is high time we take a second look at technology security, in particular robot security. Believe it or not robots are beginning to pop up in more and more homes across the country. Mostly in the f0rm of toys but also in house hold cleaning devices such as the iRobot’s Roomba vacuume cleaner. Tadayoshi Kohno, an assistant professor at the University of Washington stated “We were shocked at how easy it was to actually compromise some of these robots.” Some of the modern day robots are said to run on wireless access points and are quite susceptible to hackers. Once hacked into, the robots can be controlled through the Internet and used to spy on people or to vandalize property. “We think that consumers should at least be aware that there is the possibility that someone would listen in on their robot and take over their robot and have mobile eyes and ears in their home,” said Tamara Denning a PhD student who also worked on the paper. Although these bots won’t become self aware and begin to attack your family like the bots in Terminator, studies have shown that security in the current line of robots is little more than an after thought during development.

While none of the people researching this problem believe that it can lead to a Terminator or Matrix like scenario, it is important to realize that there are still risks that your robot could¬† be hacker. Whether it be for spying purposes or vandalism, one thing is for certain: there should be more of an effort on the manufacturer’s end to ensure that this cannot happen so easily.

(Via PC World)

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hacked-computer-june081Since the dawn of computers, people have been worried about the viruses and hackers. Now there are companies specifically dedicated to preventing these hackers and viruses from affecting our computers. One report however, says that they aren’t doing nearly enough. SANS Institute states that the cybersecurity community is facing an epidemic of unpatched software especially with applications like Adobe, Flash, Java, and Microsoft.

The report found that exploitable bugs in those applications are often unpatched for long periods of time.

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hackers_cartoonsThere are dozens of websites online dedicated to making life difficult for your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend. But for Elaine Cioni that wasn’t enough. When Cioni found out that her already married husband had other girlfriends she went to Yourhackerz.com to help get a better look into his personal life.

For only $100 Yourhackerz.com provided Cioni with the password to her boyfriends AOL account, and then she continued to pay for his wife’s password as well as the password for at least one other girlfriend and even his two children. All of the victims had no idea what was happening. Cioni went even further, making harassing phone calls to her boyfriend and his wife using a “spoofer” service to disguise her voice. Cioni was prosecuted and is now serving a 15 month sentence.

But even though a suspicious girlfriend like Cioni is now behind bars, websites like Yourhackerz.com are still up and running and they present great risks towards computer safety. What is worse is that government officials say that there is not much that they can do about it. With e-mail quickly becoming the easiest way to communicate with people around the world it is scary to know that anyone can pay $100 bucks and hack into your account.  So what can you do to protect yourself? Always make sure your Internet Security software is updated, be wary of downloading attachments from strangers, and restrain yourself from clicking on suspicious links.

(Via The Washington Post)

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atm-machineThe next time you go to get money out of the ATM machine, think again because you might be giving away your identity.

An attendee of the Defcon conference on cybersecurity, found a breach of security in the very hotel- The Riviera Hotel- the conference was being given: a fake ATM machine. A computer that was hidden inside the ATM was designed to scan debit cards when they are swiped through the machine, said officials who came to retrieve the suspicious machine.

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