A glimpse into the future of 3 potential cyber threats

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

We already seem to be living in the future. Things that have been depicted in sci-fi movies and stories are part of our everyday lives. Leaps from one major era of innovation or generation of technology are no longer very wide. As we look to the future, we can expect the same advancements in innovation from the cybercrime world.

Charles Arthur from The Irish Times imagines three potential scenarios where advanced technology could be overtaken by hackers to compromise cybersecurity. Below is a synopsis of what he envisions.

Scenario one: Speaking in tongues. According to Arthur, malicious advertisements could be coded with ultrasonic frequencies to provide commands for smart devices that you won’t be able to hear. So, your device will move into action without you knowing or noticing. One example he provides: “You’re at home with your phone on your table, and an advert comes on the radio; it seems to be for a horror film, with distorted voices. Silently, your phone activates and opens a website which contains a zero-day exploit that subverts your phone.”

Scenario two: Driven to distraction. As driver-less cars take to the road and we rely more on artificial intelligence, passenger beware! Self-driving cars have already been shown to be easily confused by even the slightest things amiss. For instance, a stop sign that has been defaced with stickers could cause the car to not recognize the sign for what it is and roll right through it–potentially causing injury or death.

Scenario three: Not so smart now. Smart meters, used to regulate power and improve cost and productivity efficiencies, can end up becoming a target for nation-state hackers. Cyberattackers who might have their sites set on a country would begin their campaign by targeting infrastructure, taking down the electrical grid.