Is The CIA Concerned About The Internet Of Things?

Is The CIA Concerned About The Internet Of Things?

Is The CIA Concerned About The Internet Of Things?

A recent forum on the future of warfare at the Aspen Security Centre in Colorado established that one of the major geo-security threats of the coming decades would be the internet of things – specifically the embedding of computers, sensors and internet capabilities into everyday objects. But why is the CIA worried?

Dawn Meyerriecks, the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Directorate of Science and Technology, said today’s concerns about cyber war don’t address the looming geo-security threats posed by the Internet of Things. “Smart refrigerators have been used in distributed denial of service attacks”, she said. “At least one smart fridge played a role in a massive spam attack last year, involving more than 100,000 internet-connected devices and more than 750,000 spam emails”.

IoT

She believes we are currently at a position where the physical and virtual are merging into one single reality – a situation which will inevitably create security and access problems for those within the organisation. Nonetheless, Meyerriecks says the CIA have no excuse for being caught out by technological growth or “punctuating technological disruptions” that can be easily predicted by today’s trends. She used the example of the mobile phone to define a ‘disruptor’, saying “when it goes from the brick to something I can’t leave my house without, then it’s disruptive”.

The CIA also believe the internet of things can make people vulnerable. Dick Cheney, former U.S. Vice President, had a wireless pacemaker installed in his chest in 2007 that would have allowed his doctor to monitor his heart online – but he didn’t enable the Bluetooth broadcasting feature for fear of it being hacked. The CIA is clearly concerned that – given our inability to secure data on our desktop computers – there could be an entire generation of baby boomers who are becoming vulnerable to lethal cyber attacks because of internet-enabled medical devices. It sounds far-fetched, but it’s becoming a reality.

These latest claims of supposed worry lie in sharp contrast to a 2012 interview given by then CIA Director David Petraeus in which he enthused about the possibilities. “‘Transformational’ is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies,” Petraeus said, “particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft”.

With the rise of the smart home, the CIA is undoubtedly more than happy for you to send tagged, geolocated data that the agency can intercept in real time. Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters – all of which will be connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing.

Which is the truth? Is the internet of things good or bad for the CIA? Let us know in the comments below.

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

By Daniel Price

About Daniel Price

Daniel is a Manchester-born UK native who has abandoned cold and wet Northern Europe and currently lives on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. A former Financial Consultant, he now balances his time between writing articles for several industry-leading tech (CloudTweaks.com & MakeUseOf.com), sports, and travel sites and looking after his three dogs.

Find out more
View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

E-Commerce Advances For Savvy Marketers

E-Commerce Advances For Savvy Marketers

Digital Marketing Platforms Advertising and marketing techniques have progressed rapidly in the last decade with both channel focus and the direction of content shifting considerably due primarily to advances in cloud technology. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce 2016 singles out a few ecommerce providers who are topping their sector in both ability to execute…

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Energy Battle

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Energy Battle

By David Fletcher Please feel free to share our comics via social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest. Clear attribution (Twitter example: via@cloudtweaks) to our original comic sources is greatly appreciated.

Recent Articles - Posted by
Cloud Comings and Goings

Cloud Comings and Goings

Cloud Power Amazon Web Services – the giant of cloud computing – is on track to do $10 Billion in revenue this year. Yet, rumors swirl that Apple may take a huge chunk of business away from them and Dropbox has definitely left AWS. Is something wrong at AWS? Wait, Salesforce.com (SFDC) – the granddaddy of…

Digital Transformation: Not Just For Large Enterprises Anymore

Digital Transformation: Not Just For Large Enterprises Anymore

Digital Transformation Digital transformation is the acceleration of business activities, processes, and operational models to fully embrace the changes and opportunities of digital technologies. The concept is not new; we’ve been talking about it in one way or another for decades: paperless office, BYOD, user experience, consumerization of IT – all of these were stepping…

Connecting the Digital Dots with the Internet of Things

Connecting the Digital Dots with the Internet of Things

The IoT Explosion In The Cross-Industry Category Gartner estimates that 6.4 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices will be in use in 2016, nearly a third more than last year, and with attentive patrons such as Samsung, recently committing to invest $1.2 billion into IoT research in the US over four years, we can happily…

Surprising Facts and Stats About The Big Data Industry

Surprising Facts and Stats About The Big Data Industry

Facts and Stats About The Big Data Industry If you start talking about big data to someone who is not in the industry, they immediately conjure up images of giant warehouses full of servers, staff poring over page after page of numbers and statistics, and some big brother-esque official sat in a huge government building…

Cloud Infographic – Monetizing Internet Of Things

Cloud Infographic – Monetizing Internet Of Things

Monetizing Internet Of Things There are many interesting ways in which companies are looking to connect devices to the cloud. From the vehicles to kitchen appliances the internet of things is already a $1.9 trillion dollar market based on research estimates from IDC. Included is a fascinating infographic provided by AriaSystems which shows us some of the exciting…

Why Hybrid Cloud Delivers Better Business Agility

Why Hybrid Cloud Delivers Better Business Agility

Why Hybrid Cloud Delivers Better Business Agility A CIO friend of mine once told me that a hybrid cloud model enables him to “own the base, rent the spike” when it comes to unplanned events. Let’s face it – maintaining unused infrastructure for rare or random IT events is expensive and unnecessary in a cloud…

Is The Fintech Industry The Next Tech Bubble?

Is The Fintech Industry The Next Tech Bubble?

The Fintech Industry Banks offered a wide variety of services such as payments, money transfers, wealth management, selling insurance, etc. over the years. While banks have expanded the number of services they offer, their core still remains credit and interest. Many experts believe that since banks offered such a wide multitude of services, they have…

How Your Startup Can Benefit From Cloud Computing And Growth Hacking

How Your Startup Can Benefit From Cloud Computing And Growth Hacking

Ambitious Startups An oft-quoted statistic, 50% of new businesses fail within five years. And the culling of startups is even more dramatic, with an estimated nine out of ten folding. But to quote Steve Jobs, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” So while…

15 Cloud Data Performance Monitoring Companies

15 Cloud Data Performance Monitoring Companies

Cloud Data Performance Monitoring Companies (Updated: Originally Published Feb 9th, 2015) We have decided to put together a small list of some of our favorite cloud performance monitoring services. In this day and age it is extremely important to stay on top of critical issues as they arise. These services will accompany you in monitoring…

Teach Yourself The Cloud: Cloud Computing Knowledge In 5 Easy Steps

Teach Yourself The Cloud: Cloud Computing Knowledge In 5 Easy Steps

Teach Yourself The Cloud Learn how to get to grips with cloud computing in business  Struggling to get your head around the Cloud? Here are five easy ways you can improve your cloud knowledge and perhaps even introduce cloud systems into your business.  Any new technology can appear daunting, and cloud computing is no exception.…