Eugene Kaspersky calls the Internet of Things the ‘Internet of Threats’. Photo: Lee BesfordAttacks on power plants, telecommunications and financial systems, even turning traffic lights green: Davos elites were warned Saturday of the terrifying possibilities of modern cyber terrorism.
Eugene Kaspersky, who heads the Kaspersky Lab security group, said the possibilities of individuals being hacked would only increase in future as more devices, such as “smart” televisions, are hooked up to the internet.
“What you call the Internet of Things, I call the Internet of Threats,” he told the assembled global political and business movers-and-shakers in Davos, Switzerland.
His call coincided with results of an investigation by NSW Auditor-General Grant Hehir which found hackers could infiltrate Sydney’s traffic light network and cause accidents or road chaos.
“The worst of the worst scenarios is an attack on a big infrastructure, a power plant. If there’s no power, the rest of the world doesn’t work,” Kaspersky cautioned.
Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said that criminals could bring about chaos in a much lower-level way.
“You can wreak havoc in all kinds of ways,” said Ilves, who added that it was the duty of governments to give citizens powerful encryption tools to protect their data.
He told an anecdote about traffic authorities in Los Angeles who went on strike and also set all the lights to red, sparking gridlock.
“But what if someone turned all the lights green?” he asked.
In the wake of the cyberhack on Sony late last year, cybersecurity has been a hot button topic at the four-day World Economic Forum in the swanky Swiss ski resort.
The conclusion, in Ilves’s words: “Basically nothing is safe.”
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